Brunei’s commitment to environmental effort lauded

Aziz Idris

Brunei Darussalam’s commitment to international climate change affairs and environmental agreements spearheaded by the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change was lauded by a visiting expert.

Head of Southeast Asia COP26 Strategy, British High Commission in Singapore, Dr Issabelle De Lovinfosse said the Sultanate’s pledge to reduce 20 per cent of the national global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 is on the right track and in line with the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) set by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

However, she warned that as a small nation heavily dependent on fossil fuels, Brunei Darussalam is vulnerable to exposure and the adverse impacts of climate change. The country is expected to experience “rapid expansion” in the industrial sector which in turn increases the amount of greenhouse gasses in the air. But with mitigation measures identified in the NDC, the expected increase can be reduced by 20 per cent by 2030, she said.

“We are working closely with Brunei, as the country assumes chairmanship for this year’s ASEAN Summit. It is of utmost importance for nature-based solutions in building better climate change resilience for countries in the ASEAN region, including Brunei.”

She also lauded Brunei’s support for climate change action with the participation in the Paris Agreement. The Sultanate is among the least contributors to the global GHG emissions in 2018, at 0.025 per cent.

During her visit to the Sultanate, Dr Lovinfosse discussed the United Kingdom’s (UK) planned key campaigns for upcoming Climate Change Conference COP26 to be held in Glasglow in November.

Dr Isabelle de Lovinfosse on her visit to the Temburong District. PHOTO: AZIZ IDRIS

She discussed the country’s plans on closing the ambition gap to address the Paris Agreement’s three pillars: to increase the level of ambition by governments and non-government actors; to mobilise international climate finance from donor countries and the private sector to support other countries; and to increase efforts that are devoted to domestic and international acceleration in support of ASEAN economies and communities.

“Climate and biodiversity are forever closely interdependent. Climate change is already impacting biodiversity losses and ecosystem damage. And the same human activities are the drivers of both issues, like unsustainable land use, deforestation, intensive agriculture, and natural resource destruction. Nature-based solutions are not the only solutions to climate change problems, but they have a large role to play,” Dr Lovinfosse said.

She also met several ministers and engaged with youth, non-government organisations (NGO) and businesses to discuss collaboration between UK – as this year COP26 Presidency and Brunei – as chair for ASEAN Summit – for future joint events on nature, adaptation resilience, energy and green finance, and to continue to collaborate on achieving an ambitious, shared outcome at COP26.

The Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change, championed by the Ministry of Development, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, and Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications, will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring that these climate action strategies will be effectively implemented and closely monitored.

Brunei Darussalam’s NDC showcases the country’s strong commitment to addressing climate change at the national level, and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement, despite being a predominantly oil and gas economy. This further reflects the country’s leadership in climate action regionally, as the ASEAN Chair 2021.