KUCHING, Nov 20 — Deputy Minister of Law, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and State-Federal Relations Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali tonight said the state government plans to establish an advisory panel with the passing of the Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gases) Bill, 2023, in the state assembly.

She said the panel will focus on climate change, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), carbon credits and pricing, emission thresholds and energy transition strategies.

“The focus is aimed at net-zero by 2050, and other pertinent matters,” she said when tabling the Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gases) Bill, 2023.

She said the carbon emission reduction and carbon credits issued for projects in Sarawak which contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change will be reported to the federal government to be included in the Nationally Determined Contribution of Malaysia for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Sharifah Hasidah noted that Malaysia has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity by 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 level’s emission.

“Additionally, the nation aims for carbon neutrality by 2050, as per the Paris Agreement of 2015.

“Likewise, Sarawak is dedicated to addressing climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and adopting strategies aligned with the global target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

“These efforts fall under the state's Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030, focusing on environmental sustainability,” she said.

Sharifah Hasidah said the state government is taking the initiative to introduce the Bill, aiming to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, promote carbon capture and storage, and mitigate climate change effects to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

She said the Bill seeks to provide for measures and steps to reduce emission of greenhouse gases, adding that the measures include to provide the registration of businesses in scheduled economic sectors, requiring them to submit annual carbon emission reports following international reporting Standards.

She said it is also seeking to set carbon emission thresholds and where any registered business entity is unable or unwilling to bring their carbon emissions down to the emission threshold level, a carbon levy, at a rate to be determined by the state Cabinet, would be imposed.

She said the Bill also seeks to control flaring and venting of petroleum and greenhouse gases by the oil and gas sectors as well as to promote forest carbon activities, carbon capture, and storage projects, validated according to Carbon Standards Rules for issuing Sarawak carbon credit units.

“This Bill institutes a robust system for project verification and validation by appointed Carbon Standard Administrators,” she said, adding that this system ensures integrity and credibility for all issued carbon credits from Sarawak, augmenting their value and acceptance in compliance and voluntary markets.

“It also opens avenues for the government to earn revenue through trading and selling these carbon Credits,” she added

“This Bill will also pave the way for Sarawak to have its own, complete regulatory framework on clean and renewable energy and underlining our status as one of the global clean energy leaders.

“With this, perhaps Sarawak will be on par with other developed countries such as Australia with their own new Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 2023,” Sharifah Hasidah said.