This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly on September 18, 2023 – September 24, 2023
There are many similarities in the two strategic documents that were released in the last month and outline the country’s path forward in the low-carbon global economy.
The National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) highlights how Malaysia will reduce emissions from the energy sector in its attempt to reach net zero emissions, while the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030 underscores the importance of ESG in ensuring the competitiveness of the country’s manufacturing industry.
One similarity is higher penetration of renewable energy (RE) to attract companies to invest in Malaysia and help industries decarbonise. Another is the development of the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, which can reduce emissions and spur the growth of a new industry. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is also promoted as a solution and opportunity in both the NETR and NIMP.
The response from industry observers is optimistic but cautious, based on the interviews that ESG conducted.
While the NETR showcases commendable ESG-related strategies, there is room for improvement in terms of inclusivity, stakeholder engagement, transparency and circular economy integration, says Datuk Muhamad Guntor Mansor Tobeng, managing director of RE service provider Gading Kencana Sdn Bhd.
He likes NETR’s emphasis on upgrading the grid infrastructure to support the integration of more RE and energy storage solutions.
To further enhance the positive environmental impacts of the energy transition, he suggests implementing the principles of the circular economy, which involve minimising waste, extending product life cycles and promoting recycling.
“By encouraging a circular approach to resource utilisation and waste management, the initiative can contribute to a more sustainable and responsible use of resources,” says Muhamad Guntor.