Call for nature-based solutions in tackling climate change

James Kon

The ASEAN region is widely considered as one of the world’s most vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change.

As such, Brunei Darussalam, together with counterparts across the region, place great importance on nature-based solutions for reducing emissions, addressing climate change and strengthening resilience, as the region holds significant value of the world’s carbon stock.

Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN’s commitment in addressing climate change was highlighted by Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar at the G20 Energy and Climate Joint Ministerial Meeting that took place on July 23, via video conference.

In advancing nature-based solutions, ASEAN is set to launch an ASEAN Green Initiative and a Status Report on Investing in Sustainable Natural Capital in ASEAN later this year, he added.

Accelerating climate mitigation and adaptation actions while promoting sustainable development have always been at the heart of ASEAN’s agenda and priorities, driven by the ASEAN Vision and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar and Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein at the G20 Energy and Climate Joint Ministerial Meeting. PHOTO: ME

Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein, who also attended the G20 Energy and Climate Joint Ministerial Meeting with the Minister of Development, said that ASEAN through the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) continues to make progress in pursuing the goal of energy security to maintain and protect energy services against disruptions, while ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny also highlighted that the work in ASEAN complements and supports efforts undertaken in the G20 forum, including a Brunei-led initiative, the ‘Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration on Energy Security and Energy Transition’, to be adopted by AMEM this year.

The joint declaration will provide an opportunity to shape the regional energy outlook in ensuring current and future energy security; and accelerating the energy transition, towards a more prepared, dynamic and sustainable regional economic community.

Permanent Secretary (Planning, Land Use and Environment) at the Ministry of Development (MoD) Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy (ME) Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the ME Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra were present at the meeting.

Chaired by Italian Minister of the Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, the meeting was attended by Climate and Energy Ministers from G20 member states, as well as guest countries and representatives of international organisations.

Brunei Darussalam was invited as ‘Guest of the Chair’ in its capacity as ASEAN Chair 2021.

Discussions evolved around the three sessions of the meeting, namely cities and climate action; sustainable recovery and clean energy transition; and Paris-aligned financial flow, and energy security and energy poverty.

The three broad pillars of action of this year’s G20, ‘People, Place, Prosperity’ complements Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship’s theme ‘We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper’.