Tuesday, December 6

Premier: Sarawak’s ART expected to reduce Kuching’s carbon footprint by 15 pct

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An example of the ART system being used in China. Photo source CCRC

KUCHING (Nov 21): Sarawak’s Automated Rapid Transit (ART) initiative is anticipated to reduce carbon footprint in the city by 15 per cent by 2030, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“Sarawak is presently embarking on enhancing its public transport system via the development of the ART which is to be integrated with digital solutions to create seamless experience using hydrogen fuel cell.

“We expect this eco-friendly integrated public transportation system will reduce carbon footprint in Kuching City by 15 per cent by year 2030,” he said when tabling the 2023 Sarawak Budget today.

Abang Johari said Sarawak is mindful of its social responsibility to safeguard the environment, maintain its quality, and strengthen resilience against the impact of climate change.

He asserted that the state’s reputation and image around the world are tied back to its actions or inaction towards environmental issues, particularly on climate change.

“It is undeniable climate change is a global threat, and that our country is not spared. Therefore, Sarawak having the largest forested area in Malaysia, with immense carbon sequestration opportunities, must play its part for the country to achieve its net zero target emission by 2050.

“In this regard, we will be undertaking a comprehensive study on the Sarawak Climate Change Policy and Low Carbon Society Blueprint in Cities and Towns in Sarawak and Formulation of Sarawak Green Economy Policy and Action Plans,” he said.

In light of this, he said a sum of RM3 million will be provided for these purposes.

He pointed out that Sarawak had been identified as one of the potential regions in the world for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS).

“CCUS can fast track the path to net-zero emissions. CCUS goes beyond fossil fuel applications and contributes to emissions reductions in the power and industrial assets, while underpinning new economic opportunities associated with the production of low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia,” he said.

He added that Sarawak recently passed the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which enables the state to develop CCUS as a powerful mitigation technology towards low-carbon economy.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said a total of 16,800 reef balls had been deployed in Sarawak’s coastal areas from Tanjung Datu to Lawas under the Sarawak Reef Ball Project Phase 1.

He said this is to protect the marine eco-system and resources in Sarawak’s coastal water as well as to safeguard fishing grounds from illegal fishing trawlers activities.

“The reef balls deployment work has contributed to the improvement of our local communities’ livelihood, marine biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, and fishery resources enhancement.

“In view of the success of Phase 1 of the project, the state government will be implementing Phase 2 with a total cost of RM30 million,” he added.