Bursa Malaysia to launch the Voluntary Carbon Market
Following Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement to make Malaysia a carbon-neutral country as early as 2050, the government decided to include several initiatives to drive their sustainability agenda under Budget 2022. The efforts were part of Malaysia’s commitment to addressing climate change.
During the budget tabling, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said: “We are committed to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the annual budget formulation is now aligned to the 17 SDGs.
“Additionally, the budgets for this year and subsequent years will be aligned to green budgeting to enable movement towards the implementation of environmentally friendly development projects and programmes.”
“To meet the carbon-neutral target, the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) initiative will be launched under Bursa Malaysia’s advocacy. This initiative acts as a voluntary platform for carbon credit trading between green asset owners and other entities transitioning towards low-carbon practices.”
Budget 2022 was presented in Parliament on Oct 29 with the theme ‘Keluarga Malaysia, Makmur Sejahtera’. It emphasises three main areas: Rakyat’s well being, resilient businesses and a prosperous and sustainable economy.
The first strategy under the third focus aims to strengthen the sustainability agenda. There are four initiatives under this strategy which focuses on:
I. Low carbon practice
II. Environment and biodiversity
III. Community empowerment
IV. Sustainability Sukuk
The VCM initiative, under the low carbon practice strategy, is one of many efforts by the government to drive reforms and ensure the market remains sustainable and competitive.
Under this first initiative, Bank Negara Malaysia will also provide a Low Carbon Transition Facility with a fund value of RM1 billion, matching fund arrangements with participating financial institutions.
The effort is to assist SMEs to adopt sustainable and low carbon practices such as increasing the use of sustainable raw materials and renewable energy.
Environment and biodiversity
For the year 2022, a total of RM450 million will be channelled to various ministries to implement several initiatives as follows:
I. Nature conservation projects
II. Programmes to empower the involvement of local communities, army veterans and Orang Asli in biodiversity conservation
III. Assistance for zoo operating costs, efforts to increase the breeding of Malayan Tigers and implementation of the Frozen Zoo programme
IV. The 100 million Tree Planting Campaign
V. Grants to support the role of the World Wildlife Fund (or WWF), All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia (APPGM) and Environmental Partners
“To institutionalise the implementation of Ecological Fiscal Transfer (EFT) for the conservation of biodiversity, RM70 million of EFT will be allocated every year to all States. The EFT implementation mechanism will be strengthened through outcome-based ecological criteria.
“Malaysia is committed to fulfilling its obligations as a signatory to the Paris Agreement. Last April, the government successfully issued the world’s first sovereign Sustainability Sukuk through the issuance of US$800 million.
“The Sukuk has been oversubscribed by over 5.6 times which reflects investor confidence in the country. For next year, the government will issue Sustainability Sukuk denominated in Ringgit
Malaysia of up to RM10 billion to be channelled to eligible social or environmentally friendly projects,” Tengku Zafrul added.
Under the community empowerment initiative, various parties, especially NGOs, GLCs, social enterprises and communities, played an influential role as field agents. Tengku Zafrul said this was in support of the government’s efforts to develop the people’s socioeconomics since the pandemic began.
In 2021, the government, together with Yayasan Hasanah, funded various initiatives for the vulnerable.
“One recipient of the Hasanah Special Grant is Earth Heir, a social enterprise that promotes eco-friendly craft items produced by the local community. The founder of Earth Heir, Sasibai Kimis, is determined to help these craft producers grow their income sustainably.
“For next year, RM100 million will be provided in the form of a matching grant with the contribution of GLC-owned foundations to NGOs to fund various social programmes assisting the vulnerable in terms of education, income generation and mental health.” — @Green