KOTA KINABALU, June 18 — The proposed new Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Bill to be tabled in the Parliament later this year will not be applicable to Sabah, says Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan.

The State Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry said there was a clear separation of jurisdiction constitutionally, that both land and forestry matters were state matters under the State List, and under the purview of the Sabah government.

He said Sabah had signed the necessary arrangement to generate a new source of income for the State from carbon credit sales from its 2 million hectares of tropical forests while preserving them.

“It’s not just preserving the rainforests but also providing much-needed funds and opportunities for the indigenous people in Sabah, and at the same time, complying with many of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This (SDGs) includes no poverty, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, protect and promote sustainable eco-systems, forests and halt biodiversity loss,” he said in a statement here today.

On May 21, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said his ministry had tabled a memorandum to the Cabinet to pave the way towards a comprehensive legal framework on CCUS initiatives.

Rafizi said a standalone CCUS Bill would be tabled by year-end while pushing for bilateral agreements amid significant progress made by the government in CCUS implementation so far.

Jeffrey said with its own carbon reduction programme, Sabah was well advanced and well-positioned to take responsibility of its carbon credit potential under its own land and forestry laws with or without the proposed new CCUS laws.

“The state is in the process of enacting its own carbon capture and utilisation laws as well as updating the Forest Enactment 1968 including making carbon as a forest produce,” he said.

He said the socio-economic benefits of Sabah’s carbon credit programme was in line with the state’s vision of developing the Sabah Maju Jaya Development Plan 2021-2025.

The deputy chief minister said Sabah’s stand was in line with Sarawak that there was no necessity for the CCUS to be extended to the Borneo states, and this stand was made known to the National Climate Change Council meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Putrajaya last Friday. (June 14)

On May 23, Sarawak Energy and Environmental Sustainability Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Hazland Abang Hipni said the proposed CCUS Bill would not be applicable to the state, and the Sarawak government was of the view that state laws should govern the development of CCUS locally. — Bernama