Time for local banks to ‘run the green path’


  • Letters
  • Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

I REFER to an article published yesterday, “Bank Negara urges financial industry to step up green project efforts” (online at bit.ly/star_bank), as well as a joint statement issued by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission (SC) on Sept 15 on climate change (bit.ly/bank_climate).

I find that this is a commendable action indeed by the Joint Com-mittee on Climate Change (JC3) to communicate with stakeholders given the urgency for financial institutions to do their part in mitigating climate change.

I also applaud Bank Negara and the SC’s joint efforts to push for progress on this issue at a faster pace in the financial sector.

However, it is just a tad ironic to not address the fact that several major banks in Malaysia are still financing coal with amounts ranging from US$345mil to US$2.68bil (RM1.4bil to RM11bil).

I do realise that the transition to a low carbon economy cannot happen overnight. It will require a robust system as well as the willingness of major stakeholders, including the public, to adapt to a climate-conscious mindset and the necessary behaviour involved.

I welcome the affirmative actions by JC3 and all the relevant partners in pushing for faster transitions by having clear metrics to assess goals and milestones. Sceptics may ridicule these efforts by lamenting Malaysia is perhaps late in this matter relative to our neighbour. However, I prefer to view this joint effort as a solid one in what is an understandably complex matter.

Time for Malaysian financial institutions to stop rolling in dirty coal and “run the green path”!

HAJAR SHAMSUDIN

Gombak, Selangor

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