KUCHING, The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly unanimously passed an Environment (Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emission) Bill, 2023, making it the first state to pass such law in the country.

The bill came as the state government’s initiative to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, said State Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Law, MA63 and Federal-State Relations), Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.

“This bill is designed to safeguard Sarawak’s environment by implementing strategies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases,” she said when winding up for the bill before it was passed at the State Assembly here tonight.

She said the bill also aimed to promote carbon capture and storage and mitigate climate change effects, while providing opportunities for Sarawakians to participate in global warming effect mitigation projects and to earn carbon credits for their efforts.

“These activities will enable the state to have a new source of revenue which would enhance the state’s capacity towards developing the state in an economically sustainable manner,” she said.

Upon passing the bill, Sharifah Hasidah said Sarawak government planned to establish an advisory panel to deal in, among others, climate change, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), carbon credits and pricing.

“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,” she said.

She said the report would be included in the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of Malaysia for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

According to her, the bill would also pave the way for Sarawak to have its own regulatory framework on clean and renewable energy underlining its status as one of the global clean energy leaders.

“With this (bill), perhaps Sarawak will be on par with other developed countries such as Australia with their own new Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Act 2023,” she added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency