Premier proposes Sarawak Climate Change Centre to oversee, manage matters related to climate change, carbon trading

Abang Johari (seated second right) addressing a press conference after officiating at the ACC 2023 at a hotel today (March 15, 2023).

By Ling Hui and Karen Bong

KUCHING, March 15: The Sarawak government has proposed establishing a new governance framework body to be known as the Sarawak Climate Change Centre to oversee and manage all matters related to climate change and carbon trading initiatives in the region.

With the establishment of the Centre, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that Sarawak can position itself as a leader in climate change and carbon trading initiatives in the region, attracting investment and talent to drive sustainable economic growth.

“The centre would serve to oversee and manage all developments in carbon trading, storage and other sectors in the economy so that the practices they used are aligned to our (Sarawak’s) sustainability goal,” he told a press conference after officiating at the Asia Carbon Conference (ACC) 2023 held at a hotel here today.

The Centre can also support the development of policies and regulations that promote sustainable practices, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable forestry management, among others.

In this connection, he said the government through the region’s attorneys is in the midst of working out and enhancing the legal framework together with international bodies and stakeholders to set out a comprehensive guideline and regulations to monitor and support all components of the system.

“We have to enhance our legal framework in terms of the rules for carbon trading and storage. From there on, we can expand it and we have to work with international organisations so that we have all the data at the centre which will enable us to see and plan for the future.

“We are the first to implement the framework as Sarawak has amended the State Land Code that enables us to embark on carbon trading and storage. We are working on the mechanisms and in the process of discussions with multiple stakeholders including international players,” he added.

Abang Johari also pointed out that so far, five countries have shown interest in Sarawak’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) potential due to the strategic position of the region outside the ring of fire, making it safe and suitable for carbon storage.

“There will be more to come (investors) and today, we want to share with the rest of the world (through the conference) what we have done so far, otherwise they will not know that Sarawak has embarked on carbon activities.

“We need the leadership, expertise and resources to ensure the realisation of the carbon plan’s ambitious goals, and to position Sarawak as a leader in climate change and sustainable economic growth,” he said.

Abang Johari reiterated that Sarawak is committed to addressing the urgent issue of climate change and will continue to explore and implement innovative strategies to mitigate its impact on the environment, economy, and society.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin as well as State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki were among those present. — DayakDaily