Saturday, April 30, 2016

Brunei Signs Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Minister of Energy and Industry at the PMO YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin (c) signing the Paris Agreement on behalf of His Majesty’s government on Friday, at the UN Headquarters in New York. Picture: Courtesy of Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO)

Rachel Thien
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Sunday, April 24, 2016

BRUNEI on Friday joined 174 countries as they convened to sign the Paris Agreement on combating climate change at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Signing on behalf of His Majesty’s government was Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar.

The Paris Agreement calls for countries to work towards limiting the rise of global temperature to well below two degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, ratify the Paris Agreement.

In delivering Brunei’s national statement, the minister said Brunei accounts for 0.016 per cent of total global emissions annually, equating to about 7.244 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

“Regardless of this relatively low output, our commitment stands strong as part of our own national agenda to combat climate change, which is reaffirmed by our presence here today to sign the Paris Agreement,” he said.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin also reaffirmed His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s titah at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2014, where Brunei is committed to cut its total primary energy consumption by 63 per cent by 2035 from the Business as Usual case, with 2009 as the base year.

Brunei is also gearing towards increasing 10 per cent of its total share of the power generation mix from renewable energy by 2035, and is looking to maintain and enhance the country’s carbon stocks by increasing forest reserves from 44 to 55 per cent of the total land area.

The minister said the movement towards action against combating climate change will open up economic and entrepreneurial opportunities and innovation for the private sector in developing green technology and economy in Brunei.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin also called for countries to work together to support developing nations in the capacity building and knowledge transfer in this area.

Speaking to The Brunei Times in a telephone interview following the signing, the minister said Brunei has pledged towards the implementation of the aforementioned actions.

“In the next couple of years, we all have to play our part in implementing our commitment. Before the next meeting, Brunei will be up-to-date with the new requirements (under the agreement),” YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said.

He went on to say apart from the national actions which have been pledged towards combating climate change, it is pertinent for the government to work with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) here who advocate for a greener environment, as well as the public.

“Our NGOs such as Earth Hour, Green Brunei and Beach Bunch, among others, are good and they are on par with any other green NGOs around the world. They have good intentions and we all want Brunei to be an active player in the climate change agenda,” the minister said.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said he salutes these NGOs, and called for more collaborative efforts with the government. The minister also said more concerted efforts needed to be taken holistically on Brunei’s ‘No Open Burning’ policy, as well as working with oil and gas producing countries on a zero flaring policy.

According to the World Bank, billions of cubic metres of natural gas is flared annually at oil production sites around the globe.

“Flaring gas wastes a valuable energy resource that could be used to support economic growth and progress. It also contributes to climate change by releasing millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere,” the World Bank said.

The minister added it is important to ensure Brunei’s reserve-replacement ratio is sustainable. Bloomberg explains the reserve-replacement ratio is one indicator of a company’s long-term ability to maintain or expand crude and gas output.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said Brunei will continue to work to meet their international commitments for climate change, including submitting the Initial National Communications and pursue the practical actions and measures set in the Intended National Determined Communications in a timely and effective manner.

At the last 21st Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, 196 parties adopted the Paris Agreement.

Friday’s signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement saw the largest number of countries to ever sign an international agreement on a single day.

The Brunei Times

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Note:

The Paris Agreement (French: L'accord de Paris) is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. An agreement on the language of the treaty was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. It was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day), and 177 UNFCCC members signed the treaty, 15 of which ratified it. It has not entered into force.

The Paris Agreement calls for countries to work towards limiting the rise of global temperature to well below two degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, ratify the Paris Agreement.

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