Updated: Jul 25, 2021
Link to the recording of this session available on CGM's YouTube playlist for the Round Table series of engagements here.
On 6 July 2021, CGM and CEO Action Network kicked off the first of the Energy Sector Round Table engagements on low-carbon pathways for Malaysia.
Conducted in conjunction with the launch of Shell Malaysia’s The Tree, The Sky, The Sun: A Pathway to Malaysia’s Carbon-Neutral Future, the round table was a lively discussion on “How to Get to a Carbon-Neutral Malaysia”, featuring the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment and Water, Dato' Seri Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang; Founding Chairperson of Climate Governance Malaysia, Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar; Managing Director and Partner of Boston Consulting Group, Dave Sivaprasad; and the Chairman of Shell Malaysia, Ivan Tan.
The virtual launch event for Shell’s publication, which incorporated the Energy Sector roundtable, was attended by more than 1500 participants and stakeholders from the government, private sector, media, academia, non-governmental organisations, and energy consumers.
Developed by Shell Malaysia in consultation with key local stakeholders, the story of The Tree, The Sky, The Sun illustrates a challenging but technically possible pathway for Malaysia to achieve carbon-neutrality 2065, predicated on 5 key levers:
1. Carbon pricing
2. Renewables, especially solar
4. Energy efficiency
These levers are underpinned by robust policy frameworks, open public engagement and strong collaboration across government, industry and civil society.
In his keynote address, the Minister of Environment and Water also underscored the importance of cooperation between stakeholders in order for Malaysia to meet its commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In addition, Y.B. Dato’ Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man announced that his Ministry was preparing carbon market guidelines and carbon pricing policies, as well as looking into the development of a “Green Recovery Plan” so that Malaysia could become the main hub in the fields of green economy, services and technology.
Tengku Muhammad Taufik, Chairman of the CEO Action Network also observed, "Every segment of our society and economy will need to step up to meet the very real risks and opportunities which we face today. Government support and intervention on the other hand must take into consideration all key influencing factors to ensure an alignment of government policy between economic, climate and energy priorities, whilst ensuring the socio-economic wellbeing of Malaysians. Ultimately, the future of Malaysia’s energy landscape requires coordinated and collective actions from all stakeholders to nurture an ecosystem for businesses to not only survive but thrive in a shifting energy landscape".
Freda Liu then gave us a quick recap of The Tree, The Sky, The Sun scenarios where the Malaysian energy system of 2065 will look significantly different from today (links to the video and report are at the end of this post).
The economy-wide change required to achieve a carbon-neutral state will be underpinned by carbon pricing, or the external cost of carbon, which is phased in starting from 2026. Renewable sources of energy dominate the energy mix with solar being the largest single source of energy (40% of energy mix).
Deep electrification but hydrocarbons remain important. Electricity share grows to 50% of total energy consumption – over 90% is generated from renewables, with the majority of that from solar. Passenger road transport is more than 70% electric
The country’s increase in final energy demand (compared to 2020) is marginal due to gains in energy efficiency. Remaining emissions will need to be removed using technology or nature. Reforestation of an additional 5.8% of Malaysia’s land mass, equivalent to 19,000 sq. km (or the size of Perak), captures 29 million tonnes of CO2 per year of remaining emissions.
The Energy Sector Round Table in the second half of the virtual launch event was a clear demonstration of the cross-sector collaboration needed, an imperative to meet the climate challenge.
From the beginning of the Round Table, it was evident that all parties agreed that urgent and coordinated action was required for Malaysia to transition to a low-carbon economy.
Beyond the 5 levers outlined by Shell’s pathway, the broad conversation brought into view the many factors that would affect the country’s ability and pace of transition, including the role of new technologies, the need for carbon financing, the impact of multilateral action, and incentives that promote economy-wide change, amongst others.
Crucially, the need for robust policy frameworks was highlighted, in order to ensure that Malaysia continues to be an attractive destination for private sector investment. Globally, climate policy is starting to converge with economic policy and in order for Malaysia to remain competitive on the world stage, significantly stronger policy signalling from the government was highlighted as a key enabler.
The round table also agreed that there was a need to build greater public awareness on the topic of climate change, in order to drive a climate culture where individuals made choices that were more sustainable, e.g. in their chosen modes of transport, diet, water usage, energy consumption etc. Ultimately, education and awareness would drive the action required for us to collectively transition to a carbon-neutral future.
Text of Speeches
Text of the main address by The Honourable Dato’ Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Minister Of Environment And Water [in Malay and English].
The Tree, The Sky, The Sun
Read the 2-page summary here
or dive into the full report "The Tree, The Sky, The Sun" available to download here.