Round Table: Energy Sector Second Session – Low-carbon mobility
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On 19th July 2021, Climate Governance Malaysia (CGM) and CEO Action Network (CAN) convened the second Energy Sector Roundtable Session with the theme Low-Carbon Mobility, aimed at deliberating on the question of whether Malaysia can achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. The discussion of this roundtable was focused on how to reinvent mobility for an inclusive and low-carbon future, considering people’s convenience, affordability, and sustainable options.
The session began with a welcome address by YBhg. Datuk Fazlur Rahman Zainuddin, Chief Strategy & Ventures Officer, Tenaga Nasional Berhad. Datuk Fazlur Rahman emphasized that it is important for Malaysia to start looking seriously into accelerating the transition into low-carbon mobility, and in particular electric vehicles (EV).
TNB is prepared to lead this exciting transition, not only as the infrastructure provider, but to drive a collaborative approach with a coalition of stakeholders to realise this important step towards decarbonisation. The fact that the energy sector plays a key role in bringing carbon neutrality will require contribution of various other sectors as well.
The session was followed by a keynote address by YBrs. Puan Normah Osman, Deputy Secretary General Policy, Ministry of Transport. Puan Normah Osman identified that the transport sector in Malaysia is one of the biggest users of energy, of around 40 percent of the final energy, and contributes to about 30 percent of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission.
The National Transport Policy 3 (NTP), launched in 2019, has embedded carbon emission reduction as one of its five thrusts, namely Policy Thrust 4 “Advance Towards Green Transport Ecosystem”. Other parallel initiatives in the pipeline include the National Energy Policy by the Economic Planning Unit, and the Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint by the Ministry of Environment and Water (KASA).
The Government’s focus has always been on driving the shift from the usage of private vehicles to rail and public transport. Mass transit would not only reduce emissions, but it would also reduce road congestion, a particular trait in urban areas such as Klang Valley.
Puan Normah Osman also highlighted that the change required to partake may seem as additional costs to bear, but in the long term, it will actually be more cost-effective than before. As such, the primary focus of attaining a reduction in greenhouse gases, with the optimal target of carbon neutral will be attained.
Puan Normah's presentation is available here:
The panel discussion was moderated by Ir. Ahmad Hadri Haris of Shell. The panellists for the session:
1. YBhg. Datuk Fazlur Rahman Zainuddin, Chief Strategy and Ventures Officer, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)
2. YBrs. Encik Huzaimi Nor Omar, Director, Low Carbon Mobility, Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (MGTC)
3. YBhg. Dato’ Madani Sahari, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IOT Institute (MARii)
4. YBhg. Datuk Aishah Ahmad, President, Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA)
5. YBhg. Datuk Shahrol Halmi, President, Malaysian EV Owners Club (MYEVOC)
The panel discussion was organized with the hope that the discourses will succeed in raising awareness of the urgent need to tackle climate change and seed ideas for action, policies to drive our national climate ambition, specifically focusing on facilitating the growth of the EV sector in Malaysia. The key takeaways from this discussion includes:
(i) Structuring regulation and policy to help facilitate the industry to step in more aggressively and comprehensively in the sector.
(ii) Supporting and providing incentives for the investments, financing, partnership, and capability building to establish local EV manufacturing and supply chain ecosystem.
(iii) Encouraging the role of developing EV charging infrastructure nationwide to meet the requirement through collaboration approach with a coalition of stakeholders.
(iv) Improving the data availability, accessibility, and transparency related to EV industry
From an industry perspective, is the right time to push for the EV agenda, as all parties are converging, and the right incentives will help pivot from their existing operations. Malaysia will also require a long-term EV policy plan to ensure investors interests.
Currently, EV manufacturing has not been initiated in Malaysia, but the industry players are more prepared now as compared to year 2009 when the Government firstly introduced incentives on EV purchases. EV manufacturers require incentives such as lower import duties, excise duties, low charging cost, etc. While, investors interested in EV manufacturing, it is a chicken and egg situation where they would like to see more EV adoption to target more investment into the sector.
Among low-hanging fruits to encourage EV adoption are tax incentives, including for complete built up (CBU) models, to allow importers to properly gauge demand before deciding to expand production through the complete knock-down (CKD) approach, that will also bring down the price.
TNB believes all players in the industry need to work together to match supply and demand. The collaboration will also help the parties involved to realise the right level of ambition for the transition from internal combustion engines.
The news of a Low Carbon-Mobility Pathway would provide a strong signal to the private sector, industry and consumers as well as providing confidence and guide the necessary investments and plans to transform and capitalise on the inevitable electrification of mobility.
Presentation Deck by YBrs. Puan Normah Osman