Budget 2021 includes focus on sustainability agenda – PM Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a special focus on sustainability agenda will be included in Budget 2021 with a very important announcement on it to be made this Nov 6.

Describing the COVID-19 pandemic as a wake-up call for the world, Muhyiddin said Malaysia, just like any other countries, needed to rethink its development agenda particularly in regards to sustainability and green technology, which played a vital role in driving the economy.

He admitted that it was hard to find positives amidst the wreckage of COVID-19, but as an ardent optimist, the prime minister said he was sure that there would be a silver lining.

“Lockdowns across the world made us reflect, made us think and we started to realise that we need to change our ways. We need to rethink our relationship with the planet and we need to build back better. Due to all of us being at home, we also noticed we had better air quality and mother earth had time to reinvigorate.

“But this was short-lived as we went back to our old ways once the lockdowns were lifted. But the lesson is, there is a promising path of green recovery as we wade through this pandemic,” he said in his speech before opening the International Greentech and Eco-products Exhibition and Conference 2020 (IGEM), organised virtually, today.

The prime minister noted that COVID-19 and climate change, ‘the twin Cs’, are proving to be the twin engines for concern and despair, with both being global threats that require a common global solution.

“Just as we need a vaccine for COVID-19, climate change requires urgent solutions that can’t wait for a generation,” he said.

Muhyiddin explained that a green recovery approach would not only spur the economy and social well-being, but will also drive the nation’s development trajectory on a low carbon and climate resilience pathway.

In this context, he said Malaysia, as a country blessed with natural resources, being one of the 12 mega-bio diverse countries in the world and with a head-start in green technology, should leverage on this for a stronger green recovery agenda.

He said the impact of climate change is global in scope and unprecedented in various economies of scales, from shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rapidly rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding.

“Without drastic action now, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and even more expensive. Recent projections have shown that the planet is warmer by 1°C compared to preindustrial levels, and the temperature is continuing to go up.

“This will see a huge impact on our climate, food security, health and biodiversity, as well as causing disruptive mass migration. We are racing against time in our war to prevent a climate crisis,” he said. 

With the Eleventh Malaysia Plan for the period 2016 – 2020 entering its final phase, Muhyiddin said the pandemic had challenged the government to build its resilience as it wade through the pandemic.

“The road ahead has to be on a green recovery pathway,” he added.

Organised by the Environment and Water Ministry, IGEM 2020 is a multiplier of business opportunities that serves as an integrator of diverse possibilities and accelerator of impactful change, emphasising IGEM’s powerful and decisive role in accelerating a global green economy.

It is a major channel to convene governments, policymakers, corporations, and individuals onto a single platform, opening up new avenues and introducing innovative solutions to meet the escalating global economic and climate change scenarios.

— BERNAMA

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