The Sarawak Legislative Assembly achieved a historic milestone by passing the groundbreaking Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Emission) Bill. This landmark move makes Sarawak the first state in the country to enact legislation specifically targeting climate change.
Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department, Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, highlighted the bill’s primary goal: safeguarding Sarawak’s environment. The legislation outlines strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with the ambitious target of achieving net zero carbon emissions in the state by 2050.
Sharifah Hasidah emphasized the absence of parliamentary laws addressing Malaysia’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, as per the Paris Agreement. Hence, Sarawak’s proactive initiative in introducing this bill becomes pivotal.
The Bill’s measures encompass compelling registered businesses in specified economic sectors to submit annual carbon emission reports and adhere to carbon emission thresholds. Non-compliant entities will face a determined carbon levy set by the state Cabinet.
Moreover, the legislation establishes a rigorous system for project validation and verification by appointed carbon standard administrators. This ensures credibility for carbon credits issued in Sarawak, facilitating potential revenue generation through trading or selling these credits.
Post the Bill’s approval, the state government intends to establish an advisory panel focusing on climate change, carbon capture and storage, energy transition strategies, and related matters. Sharifah Hasidah stressed that this legislation reflects the state government’s steadfast commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, signaling Sarawak’s position as a global leader in clean and renewable energy.
The enactment of this Bill not only signifies a strong stance against climate change but also lays the groundwork for Sarawak’s comprehensive regulatory framework on clean and renewable energy.