Sarawak first in Asia Pacific to enact carbon trading law, Premier calls for swift action on national policy

Abang Johari (centre) in a photo with an entourage from the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sarawak during his Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at BCCK on April 10, 2024.

By Karen Bong and Marlynda Meraw

KUCHING, April 10: Sarawak is the first in the Asia Pacific region, including Asean, to establish a carbon trading law.

However, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg stressed the urgency for the federal government to introduce a national policy that is internationally recognised to facilitate Sarawak’s green initiatives, particularly in carbon trading.


“Sarawak cannot embark on its own as a State. In fact, Singapore has signed a deal with Indonesia (carbon-related collaboration), but I cannot sign for Sarawak without the endorsement from the federal government.

“As such, I am glad to learn that the Prime Minister (Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim) will be introducing a (national) law on that will be based on Sarawak’s law,” he told reporters when met at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house hosted by him and his wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

Abang Johari revealed that a federal government team is set to visit and study Sarawak’s carbon trading law for integration into a federal law.

He further pointed out that Sarawak’s carbon law is formulated based on the recommendations of the World Bank and thus, is credible and recognised by the international community, especially when it comes to engaging in global carbon trading.

“For Malaysia to move forward, they must have a legal framework in order for Sarawak to embark and get involved in international trade in carbon as well as emission mitigation efforts as climate change is a serious issue,” he said.

Sarawak passed the landmark Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Emission) Bill in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting in November last year, making it the first in Malaysia to do so.

Among the measures listed in the Bill include a carbon levy which will be imposed on registered businesses that fail to reduce their carbon emissions to the set threshold.

It also paved the way for Sarawak to have its own complete regulatory framework on clean and renewable energy, underlining Sarawak’s status as a global clean energy leader. — DayakDaily