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Sabah CM confirms carbon trade deal is on

By Olivia Miwil - August 1, 2023 @ 2:41pm

Sabah Chief Minister,Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor presented the Sabah State Excellent Scholarship Award (ABCNS) during the 34th ABCNS Award Presentation Ceremony at the Tun Ahmad Raffae Auditorium, Tun Mustapha Tower, Kota Kinabalu here. - Pic courtesy of Sabah Chief Minister's department.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is keen on venturing into the carbon trade deal, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

"We are currently looking into and fine-tuning the carbon trading deal, as it is beneficial for us to explore further.

"It is something good for us to explore as we could get lucrative yields through carbon trading," he told the media after the Sabah Scholarship Awards ceremony here.

It was reported that the volume of credits required globally would increase by at least 20 times, with prices rising between US$80 to US$150 per tonne by 2035.

The ultimate goal of carbon markets is to help entities offset carbon emissions that they cannot currently reduce. The market enables the trading of carbon credits, which could be tech-based solutions like a waste-to-energy plant or nature-based solutions such as reforestation and sustainable forest management.

However, Hajiji said that before proceeding with the deal, they need to delve into further details on the process, areas involved, and other related matters.

Last week, the CSO Platform for Reform, a coalition of more than 60 civil society organisations, had urged Hajiji to issue an official statement on the status of the controversial carbon trading or Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA).

On Oct 28, 2021, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who initiated the NCA, faced backlash from many after the 100-year agreement involving two million hectares of land was secretly signed with a Singapore-based firm, Hoch Standard.

Following the exposure in Feb last year, Sabah Attorney-General (AG) Datuk Nor Asiah Mohd Yusof said that the agreement was non-binding and legally impotent.

However, Jeffrey had recently remarked that the deal had never been shelved, and AG's objection was not officially forwarded to the state Cabinet or the steering and management committee for the implementation of the NCA, chaired by him.

Jeffrey had also said that the state had pitched the idea for the carbon exchange centre to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, given the region's potential for significant carbon market activity.



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