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Friday, December 4, 2015

Brunei outlines plan to tackle climate change

Darren Chin

THE Ministry of Development has presented a climate action plan in conjunction with the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) to join in the global effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

In a report entitled ‘Brunei Darussalam’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ posted on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s website, the country outlines its plans to reduce the rate of total energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions from morning peak-hour vehicle use by 63 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.

It also states Brunei’s intention to increase the total area of forest reserves to 55 per cent of the country’s total land area as well as increasing the share of renewable energy sources generating power to 10 per cent by 2035.

The target to reduce the rate of energy consumption by 63 per cent had already been announced in its 2014 Energy White Paper.

As previously announced by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, at UN Climate Summit 2014, the aim is to achieve the 63 per cent reduction by reducing demand for fossil fuel-generated energy and through revised power tariffs.

His Majesty also stated that Brunei had already managed to achieve a reduction of 13.9 per cent in the rate of energy consumption as of 2013.

The plan to reduce morning peak-hour vehicle emissions depends on the implementation of the Land Transport Master Plan which will limit the net increase in emissions to just 67 per cent by 2035 over 2012 levels as compared to a 178 per cent increase should there be no mitigating measures put in place.

Currently, the total area of forest reserves makes up 41 per cent of the total land area, but this figure will be increased to cover 55 per cent of Brunei’s land mass.

Logging activities would also be restricted to an area of just 300 square kilometres or 5.2 per cent of the nation’s total land area.

Brunei also plans to considerably increase the use of solar power as a renewable source of energy in a bid to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels for power generation.

According to the Energy White Paper released last December, Brunei currently produces only 1,700 megawatt-hours (MWh) of solar energy annually. The target is to increase the share of renewable energy in the total power generation mix by 2.7 per cent or 124,000 MWh by 2017 and by 10 per cent or 954,000 MWh by 2035.

A draft report in 2010 estimated Brunei’s emissions of greenhouse gases for the year at approximately 10.02 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent with nearly three-quarters of the emissions coming from the energy sector.

Some 99 per cent of Brunei’s po-wer generation is sourced from the burning of natural gas, which emits 4.18 million tonnes of car-bon dioxide equivalent every year in the process.

The production of oil and gas itself, which accounts for more than 60 per cent of Brunei’s Gross Domestic Product, emits 3.31 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equiva-lent annually.

Sumber - The Brunei Times

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