KUALA LUMPUR: The government is committing to a seed fund amounting to RM10 million to act as an assured demand of Malaysian-generated carbon credits to kickstart the market to support the national journey to achieve net zero as early as 2050.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pix) said there is a need for an enhanced focus on investments in green growth areas including hydrogen technology, bioenergy and electric mobility — enablers of green adoption across sectors as well as future economic engines.

“A key part of the emphasis on these areas is ensuring that Malaysians also gain from the transfer of high-tech knowledge and skills while prioritising research and development efforts,“ he said in his keynote address at Invest Malaysia 2023 here, today.

He said it is one of the areas for the further development of Technical and Vocational Training - or TVET- that is being redesigned for greater participation of private sectors, while in conventional academia, updates on university syllabi are being developed.

“I look forward to projects in this field growing into a position where they can make use of Malaysia’s Voluntary Carbon Market that is operated by Bursa Malaysia,“ he said.

Launched in December last year, the Bursa Carbon Exchange is a vital catalyst in the acceleration towards a net-zero future. Notably, it is the first exchange in the world to receive a Shariah pronouncement for its carbon exchange.

“Green business is not only crucial to economic sustainability, but also for all life and its attendant qualities. Malaysia is blessed, our home is also home to some of the world’s oldest rainforests, and our seas share an area recognised as one of the richest reservoirs of biodiversity. These are natural God-given assets — to protect them and value them highly is a must.

“In terms of assets, we must build for ourselves in this area. Through Bank Negara Malaysia, we will provide financing to support green technology startups, while also helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) implement low-carbon practices,“ he said.

Other forms of support in this area come in the form of a Green Technology Financing Scheme, Investment Tax Allowance and Income Tax Exemption for eligible activities, he added.

Meanwhile, Anwar said, when talking about a viable future for the environment where respect for the planet and quality of life are driving principles, it is a natural fit for further development and support through Islamic finance, a field where Malaysia has long been recognised as a global leader.

“The government is committed to enhancing the Islamic finance ecosystem further so that it can drive real societal change, especially through the optimizsation of waqf.

“In this regard, the Securities Commission Malaysia will, effective April 3, 2023, extend the Waqf-Featured Fund Framework to include Islamic Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Islamic Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs),“ he said. -Bernama