Brunei to cut energy use by 63%

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Target to be achieved by 2035, HM tells UN Climate Summit

BRUNEI is targeting a 63 per cent reduction in total energy consumption by 2035 to promote sustainable development, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam told the UN Climate Summit in New York.

In his titah at the summit’s Plenary Session yesterday, His Majesty said the Sultanate has achieved an average reduction in energy use of 13.9 per cent last year.

The government also aims to generate at least 10 per cent of total power from new and renewable resources by 2035, the monarch said.

His Majesty said Brunei is pushing to lower fossil fuel demand for inland energy use and has revised power tariffs to encourage energy saving.

The sovereign further said it is essential to reach a “new and meaningful” global climate agreement by next year.

“Failing to act decisively and collectively on climate change now would prove to be detrimental to global security and development,” His Majesty said.

His Majesty added that frequent extreme weather events have led to considerable loss of life and property and continue to threaten the livelihoods of communities around the world.

With the new agreement, the monarch believes every country has the responsibility to address such issues based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”.

“It is important that countries, particularly developing nations, are properly equipped to face climate change and its adverse effects.

“To do this, new skills must be acquired, expertise needs to be shared and the required modern technology should be affordable and accessible to all,” His Majesty added.

The Sultan said such priorities need to be reflected in the new climate agreement next year, making a positive contribution to the wider United Nations development agenda.

“Brunei is ready to play its part in this important global issue with the United Nations and the world,” His Majesty said, adding that the global community has high expectations of what can be achieved at the summit.

The monarch went on to emphasise the importance of success in generating political commitment and momentum to move ahead with urgency and practical actions to meet such a great challenge.

Sharing Brunei’s “Vision 2035”, His Majesty said the development plan aims to safeguard the welfare of the people while ensuring a clean, green, and healthy environment for every citizen.

Steps to ensure this include forest conservation efforts that have taken place for the past 80 years, resulting in 75 per cent of the country’s land area covered by tropical rainforests, the monarch said.

His Majesty said Brunei’s commitment to preserving the environment has been further reflected through the allocation of 58 per cent of its land area to the “Heart of Borneo” forest conservation initiative, together with Indonesia, Malaysia and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Borneo’s pristine peat swamp forests that act as a carbon sink to counter emissions have been acknowledged by scientists as some of the only remaining examples of their kind in the world, said the Sultan. The area also provides priority areas for biodiversity and environmental research where Universiti Brunei Darussalam has cooperated with other academic bodies for research under the International Consortium of Universities for the Study of Biodiversity and the Environment.

His Majesty added that Brunei’s next step in its conservation efforts is through the Coral Triangle Initiative that endeavours to protect the Sultanate’s marine resources and the environment as a whole, in a more comprehensive manner.

At the regional level, the monarch expressed his pleasure working with the United States to promote collaboration for renewable energy under the East Asia Summit process.

In addition, the sovereign commended UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his efforts in bringing global attention to one of the world’s greatest challenges.

His Majesty also thanked the United Arab Emirates for hosting the Abu Dhabi Ascent and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its valuable work.

Accompanying His Majesty at the UN General Assembly Hall were Second Minister of Finance at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abd Rahman Hj Ibrahim, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng and Permanent Representative of Brunei to the United Nations Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Ghafar Hj Ismail.

The Brunei Times