Govt to revive council to address climate change issues: MEMI

|     Rokiah Mahmud     |

MINISTER of Energy, Manpower and Industry Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny bin Haji Mohd Hussein yesterday said that although Brunei Darussalam contributes about 0.017 of greenhouse gas globally, the country is committed towards implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

“This is because Brunei Darussalam cannot escape or being excluded from the impact of climate change,” he said. “Over the past five years, global warming has been increasing with record high temperatures, as experienced worldwide. The increase in temperatures is the main cause of unpredictable and volatile situations, a rise in sea levels, severe thunderstorms, strong winds, flash floods and so on.”

The minister was responding to a question raised by Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari on the issue of climate change at the 15th LegCo meeting yesterday.

He added, “According to special reports released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global temperatures are expected to increase by 1.5 degrees centigrade between 2030 and 2052. If global warming persists at this pace, increasing temperatures to this level will have a more serious impact on climate change than what is currently happening.

“Therefore, the government recognises that control efforts through mitigatory action and climate adaptation should be integrated and balanced at a national level. Hence, to achieve this goal, the government has taken the initiative of reviving Brunei Darussalam’s National Climate Change Council to ensure that all efforts towards addressing climate change are managed with more targetted and integrated strategic implementation.”

He explained that under the council, the Climate Change Executive Committee and several other working groups have been established, namely the Working Group on Mitigation to monitor climate change mitigation activities; Adaptation and Resource Working Groups to monitor the implementation of efforts to improve climate change; and the Working Group Support Framework, whose membership consists of representatives from the government, the private sector and relevant NGOs.

“Among the focus areas under the council are the determination of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which will outline the country’s efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases under the Paris Agreement; basic climate change research; formulating and reviewing new regulations to promote greenhouse gas emissions reductions; and research on the establishment of monitoring, reporting and verification systems for an inventory of the emission of greenhouse gases; and conducting a climate impact assessment review (Climate Impact Assessment) to identify the country’s position in facing the effects of climate change, as well as measures to improve the country’s resilience in facing climate change,” he said.

“At the same time, the country also provides infrastructure plans to enhance resilience and adaptation to the effects of climate change, such as ensuring the resilience of electricity supply infrastructure, flood management and coastal degradation.

“Furthermore, the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) will continue to support the development of the renewable energy sector, as well as efficiency and energy-saving, including providing guidelines and basic energy management policies. Among other strategic measures to be taken in the near future are the improvement of gas and oil facilities aimed at reducing emissions from venting and flaring activities by 30 per cent; conveying the use of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Building Guidelines 2015 for government buildings to commercial buildings; contributing actively to the commitment of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the maritime sector; and contributing actively to the efforts of the International Civil Aviation Organization in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through increased fuel efficiency.”