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Universiti Malaysia Sabah apec on what Sabah needs to do

Published on: Friday, July 05, 2024

By: David Thien

Sogce 2024 organiser, Dolly Jimayol, presenting a memento to Dr Rosalam (right).

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah can attract investments, create jobs and stimulate economic activities by focusing on a viable circular economy that promotes renewable energy, eco-tourism, sustainable agriculture and waste management.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, Prof Ir Dr Rosalam Sabartly, said this at the Sabah Oil, Gas & Energy Conference & Exhibition 2024 (Sogce’24) at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), recently.

“Investment in green technologies support ESG goals by fostering economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection.

“Companies that integrate ESG factors into their strategies can achieve long-term success and resilience,” he said.

“This commitment is crucial for reducing overall emissions and transitioning to a sustainable future, aligning with global ESG standards.”

He elaborated on the requirements for transformation from energy efficiency to enhancing technologies. It is vital to adopt renewable energy – solar, wind, hydro coupled with sustainable industrial practices to lower GHG emissions and promote resource efficiency.

On waste management, there is an urgent need to improve recycling and waste reduction.

“These measures are essential for reducing emission, preserving biodiversity, and ensuring long-term environmental sustainability,” Dr Rosalam said at the plenary session entitled: “Circular Economy: Future Growth Area for Sabah towards NetZero?”.

On potential growth areas for Sabah, Dr Rosalam noted that eco-tourism generated RM8.8 billion in 2019 and is a major contributor to Sabah’s economy with sustainable agriculture with organic farming. There are innovative opportunities in waste management as only 24 per cent of waste was recycled.

“These growth areas not only drive economic growth but also improve environmental sustainability and social equity,” he said, noting that the Sabah Forestry Department in 2021 has resolved to conserve 30 per cent of land areas as forest reserves by 2025.

Dr Rosalam is hopeful of the achievement of Sabah’s Net Zero target under its Renewable Energy Roadmap whereby 50 per cent renewable capacity can be met by 2035.

He said that there is potential for significant growth in green industries, which support ESG objectives by reducing carbon footprints and promoting sustainable development, as Malaysia has provided RM3.5 billion in financing under its Green Technology Financing Scheme with its National Energy Policy aiming to achieve 20 per cent renewable energy generation by 2025.

“These policies enhance ESG performance by promoting environmental sustainability and social well-being,” Dr Rosalam said, stressing that the collaborative efforts of the government, business and community is very important for the success of sustainable growth and environmental protection, achieving NetZero to mitigate global warming and severe climate impacts.



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