KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2023 will prioritise environmental sustainability and sustainable financing of the economy, says finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz.
He said the government will also issue up to RM10 billion in sustainability sukuks, which will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, to fund eligible social and environmental-friendly projects under the current national budget.
“The finance ministry has also enhanced the government’s green procurement policy to encourage the use of green products and services and aims to incorporate environmental consideration in all government-based procurements,” he said at the Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit 2022.
Tengku Zafrul said the finance ministry has issued six public consultation papers for the 2023 national budget, three of which are related to sustainable development and environmental, social and governance matters.
“The ministry is finalising an integrated national financing framework, which is tailored to the country’s needs,” he said. “We are also developing a more sustainable framework for the financing sector.”
He said the ministry hopes to collaborate with the private sector to ensure the economy flourishes in a sustainable manner.
The government, he said, is committed to balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability, adding that Putrajaya would protect the needs and livelihoods of the public, especially the underprivileged.
It will do so by facilitating employment opportunities in new and transitional industries and by providing opportunities for reskilling and investing in alleviating energy poverty, especially in rural areas, as well as making clean affordable energy more accessible to all.
Tengku Zafrul also pointed out that the transition to the green agenda needs to be done gradually as rapid changes can potentially bring negative spillover effects such as job losses especially in Asean countries.
Citing an International Labour Organization report, he said Southeast Asia could potentially lose around half a million jobs in fossil fuels by 2050 but could also gain around five million jobs, mainly in the renewable energy (RE) sector.
“Job losses due to the shift to a green economy, as well as indirect job losses related to the industry will have a significant negative impact on labour markets,” he said.
Budget 2023 will be tabled on Oct 7.
The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit 2022, organised by CIMB Group, brings together experts and industry players to discuss sustainable economic and business development.