PM: Stay focused on climate change

PUTRAJAYA: While facing challenges brought on by the pandemic, all parties must not lose sight of issues posed by climate change which can have long-lasting impact and threats on social well-being, economic development and global health, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic).

The Prime Minister said the pandemic has given a fresh impetus for all to play a role in the sustainability agenda.

“The unprecedented and rapid changes have forced us to continuously realign the sustainability aspect that has impacted many parts of our lives.

“As we wade through the pandemic, I would like to re-emphasise that we should not lose sight of the challenges that climate change poses,” he said at the virtual launch of The International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia 2021 yesterday.

Muhyiddin said the government would continue to adopt a “whole-of-nation” approach to ensure that its policies were clear and conducive for sustainable economic development.

“It is crucial that we stay agile by engaging all industry players and stakeholders to better deliver planetary health in the long run,” he said.

As the government ramps up the roll-out of the national vaccination programme and delivers policies and socio-economic recovery packages to mitigate its impact, the Prime Minister said it was time for industries, businesses and stakeholders to prepare for the post-pandemic socio-economic transition.

He said Malaysia has put in place several initiatives to ensure sustainable development, including introducing the National Green Technology Policy in 2009, which marked the country’s eco-shift from industrial national development to adopting a more sustainable economic perspective.

“Over the years, the green agenda has witnessed a succession of wellreceived initiatives and programmes, many of which have played an instrumental role to support the growth of the green technology sector,” he said.

One of the initiatives was the green technology financing scheme which resulted in RM5.6bil being channelled to 431 green companies and ventures.

Last year, green investment tax allowances saw a total of 635 green technology projects approved for the purchase of green technology assets, generating investments of RM2.389bil.

Another initiative – the MyHijau Mark and Directory programme –has prompted businesses, consumers and agencies to make sustainable purchase decisions by creating a catalogue of certified green products and services which saw the participation of over 7,776 products and 653 service companies.

Muhyiddin said in April, the government had set up the Malaysian Climate Change Action Council, a centralised platform aimed at charting the direction of climate change policies and actions across federal and state governments.

“Among immediate areas of focus are the national low carbon cities master plan, low carbon mobility blueprint 2021-2030 and carbon pricing mechanism.

“The government also took proactive steps to align our green financing agenda by issuing the world’s first sovereign US dollar sustainability sukuk to fund eligible social and green projects in line with Sustainable Development Goals and Shared Prosperity Vision 2030,” he said.

The Prime Minister said this year’s theme – Redefining Sustainability – would focus on climate change and green technology amid addressing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need to find ways collectively to pursue economic and social well-being in an environmentally friendly manner.

“This is also an opportunity for government institutions to reassess their strategies to revive economies, preserve the environment and bring social stability to climate challenges.

“With the emergence of the green industry which requires new innovations, products and services to meet consumers’ demands, this also translates to new opportunities and reaching out to untapped markets for businesses,” he said.

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