Collaborative efforts vital to sustainable development, says minister

Hakim Hayat

A collaboration between government, schools, civil society, the private sector and individuals is vital in instilling awareness and long-term continuity in realising the nation’s sustainable development objectives, Minister of Energy Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein said at the closing ceremony of the Environmental Education Tour to Tenaga Suria Brunei at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday.

Towards achieving the goal, he said the Ministry of Energy is overseeing the introduction on green energy initiatives with multiple stakeholders, including renewable energy, reduction of emissions from the energy sector and implementation of energy efficiency programmes.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny said these initiatives are befitting because from next year, the United Nations (UN) will begin tracking closely over 100 parties’ progress towards to their new post-2020 climate commitments under their Nationally Determined Contributions.

He said the weather changes in the past few months in the region and in Brunei are a reminder of how vulnerable we are to climate shifts.

“It is important that we continue to work on our resilience, adaptation, and mitigation,” he said, noting that Brunei’s National Climate Change Policy launched in July this year to guide national efforts is a result of the collective action not just among the whole-of-government, but also the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the youth, towards a whole-of-nation approach. “This shows the great importance that this topic holds for us all,” he said.

The minister said the government has a duty to ensure that the policy is implemented and that it creates meaningful impact and benefits to everyone.

“But this journey is a partnership, and it requires all to ensure we move in unison and realise these plans, which have been developed together,” he said.

“Preserving and protecting our environment,” he said, “and in turn the wellbeing of ourselves, our family and others, is not a momentary duty, but a long-term one that starts with steps taken now, but needs to be continued, and hence should be inculcated across all ages and parties.”

He noted the Ministry of Energy’s continued support on the matter of national importance through overseeing the sustainable development of Brunei’s energy sector – from enhancing existing energy sector activities, increasing the incorporation of green energy into the energy mix to eventually achieving 30 per cent of total power generation mix by 2035, and creating a more conducive environment for the entry and use of cleaner, greener appliances and other products.

He added that ASEAN has announced its target of increasing the share of renewable energy in the region’s overall energy mix of 23 per cent by 2025 under the second phase of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation, and the Ministry of Energy will be working to support the goal through further upcoming renewable projects.

He also stressed the importance of the need to be prepared for the upcoming energy transition.

“Technology and innovation will be key to improving affordability and reliability, which in turn can help drive our adoption of green technologies in a prudent and practical manner,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny said.

He added that initiatives from individuals, schools, civil society and public-private partnership can make a major difference in shaping the sustainable energy future and meeting the environmental goals.