KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES) will consider proposals regarding the need to enact laws related to carbon emissions in the second phase of the Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill.

Its minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said NRES welcomed discussion and feedback to strengthen existing regulations to ensure cleaner air and a healthier environment for all citizens.

“With this commitment, the ministry is open to considering the Bar Council’s recommendations regarding the need and effectiveness of laws related to emissions in achieving environmental goals,” he said today.

On Monday, the Malaysian Bar proposed the introduction of formal legislation in Malaysia related to carbon emissions to improve enforcement of environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance.

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Nik Nazmi said the existing Environmental Quality Act 1974 was the basis for the management of industrial and motor vehicle emissions in Malaysia.

He said the Act was supported by the Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulations 2014 (PUB 2014), the Environmental Quality (Control of Emissions from Petrol Engines) Regulations 1996, the Environmental Quality (Control of Emissions from Diesel Engines) Regulations 1996 and the Environmental Quality (Control of Emissions from Motorcycles) Regulations 2003.

“The regulations set value limits for pollutants released by industrial premises and motor vehicles.

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“Apart from that, industrial premises are also required to install a Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) which also encourages self-control among industry players,” he said in a statement.

Aware of the limitations of existing regulations, Nik Nazmi said the Department of Environment (DOE) had been actively reviewing PUB 2014 since 2021, including looking at the existing emission limit values and the addition of new elements such as chemical compounds and environmental discharge.

He said that even though first phase of the Environmental Quality (Amendment) Bill 2023 was approved by Parliament on April 4, NRES would remain committed to continuous improvements. — Bernama