Following the release of the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) last year, Yang Amat Berhormat Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced Malaysia's carbon-neutrality target for as early as the year 2050.
In addition, the government is set to release details of its 2050 net-zero emissions target this year including voluntary carbon market, carbon pricing mechanism, green technology tax incentives and carbon trading, according to the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
In view of this, leading UK technological and business university, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) through its School of Engineering and Physical Sciences hosted a virtual net zero energy industry forum on March 24 in collaboration with Student Chapters of The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM); The Institution of Chemical Engineers, Malaysia (IChemE); Energy Institute Malaysia (EI Malaysia); and Institution of Engineering and Technology Malaysia (IET).
Themed, “Towards Net-Zero”, the forum aimed at addressing the challenges and changes required; technological readiness; role of key stakeholders including regulators and industry players; key green initiatives and policies; carbon offsetting projects as well as future energy systems.
The forum was moderated by HWUM's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences Associate Professor Ir Dr Go Yun Ii, and featured expert panellists from the energy industry as the list below:
- Peter Godfrey, Managing Director of Energy Institute, Asia Pacific region (APEC) and Vice President of STOREGGA, Asia Pacific region (APEC)
- Thirupathi Rao, Head of Greenhouse Gas Management, Group Health, Safety & Environment (HSE), PETRONAS.
- Ir. Ts. Dr. Wan Syakirah Wan Abdullah, Head Business Assessment & Engineering, TNB Renewables Sdn. Bhd.
- Associate Professor Dr. Adlansyah Abd Rahman, Associate Professor, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.
The panellists raised interesting points about the Net Zero Carbon Readiness and provided key insights on green policies, affordability, infrastructure and technology and talent in Malaysia; all of which are important factors to take into consideration in order to reach the country's net zero carbon target.
The panel members also highlighted that Malaysia is fuelled by an energy-centric economy which will require more government intervention including a clear regulatory framework, industrial incentives to spur green initiatives such as exploring renewable energy and to garner the net zero carbon participation from Malaysian companies. In addition, panellist also shared on the importance of businesses to incorporate costs for sustainable green measures to reduce carbon emission towards a more sustainable business model amidst the global energy transition.
During the panel discussion, TNB Renewables Sdn. Bhd.'s Head of Business Assessment & Engineering Ir. Ts. Dr. Wan Syakirah said: “Let us all play our part be it small or big to ensure that we are on the right path in achieving our net zero target, not for ourselves but for the generation of the future."
Similarly, the Energy Institute's Managing Director (Asia-Pacific), and Storegga's Vice President (Asia-Pacific) Peter Godfrey shared, “Getting to net zero is not a race, it's about empowering smart people and the nations, wherever they may be, to take ambitious steps beyond the status quo and to demonstrate to others how to do so. Sitting back and making excuses about why things can't be done is no longer an option.”
HWUM's Associate Professor of School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Dr. Adlansyah Abd Rahman also shared on the importance of nurturing a skilled talent pipeline that will be able to innovate and utilise new greenhouse gas (GHG) reducing and removal technologies. He also stressed on the importance of positive education to help nurture holistic talent that will be able to impact communities and remain resilient in a highly complex world.