A partner on the move towards the sustainability of the nation

With the Paris Agreement, Brunei Darussalam and other countries pledged to take action to tackle climate change.

As the Chairman of the Executive Committee on Climate Change and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya explained in an interview with the Borneo Bulletin, Brunei looked at its situation as an oil and gas producer. gas, benefiting from over 72 percent of its land is primary forest, and also being a young developing nation.

“Based on these three elements, we created the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change (BNCCC) which captures these Brunei circumstances,” he said. “The idea behind this climate change policy is that it will pave the way for Brunei to become a low carbon economy, which means that Brunei’s economy will be sustainable in the future, but it will will also be able to continue to grow and be a developed country. nation as we aspire in Brunei Vision 2035.

He noted that recently, at the 26th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), Brunei was among the countries to commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Brunei also endorsed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which he said has sparked ambitions on forests and land in terms of sustainable production and use. In addition, the Sultanate was among the countries to endorse the Declaration on the Global Transition from Coal to Clean Energy, in which the countries that signed agreed to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and phase out the use of coal. by 2050.

Towards Realizing Brunei’s Climate Action Aspirations and Advocacy
national climate change mitigation initiatives, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) and the Brunei Darussalam National Council on Climate Change (BNCCC) intend to sign a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the first quarter of 2022.

“I think this is a very important step taken by BIBD,” said Haji Azhar. “Finance is one of the
the main catalysts for action on climate change, and access to funds is essential. By having this
dedicated focus of BIBD, this will allow companies or even individuals to have access
to these climate change funds.

BIBD Acting Managing Director and CEO Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman explained
that through the memorandum of understanding, BIBD seeks to work in collaboration with the BNCCC, with the
bank aspiring to become a catalyst for raising awareness of the climate change agenda and
be an influencer for its customers, the community and the industry.

BIBD has a large social media following, as well as a large customer base of over 200,000 people and around 10,000 banking companies with them, she said. “Therefore, leveraging our sphere of influence within the community will certainly bring education and awareness to a more scalable audience.”

Thanks to this memorandum of understanding, BIBD’s participation in the national program to fight against climate change will include the gradual implementation of the Protokol Hijau (Green Protocol); provide funding and be the partner of choice to support the crowdfunding projects of the five established programs of tree planting, nature-based solutions, renewable energy, waste management and awareness, but is not exhaustive ; develop collaborative education and awareness and provide a knowledge sharing ecosystem to support the Paris Agreement; provide support for the establishment of the ASEAN Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance; and provide support for carbon pricing and carbon market research and development.

“Our aspiration is also to become an official Race to Zero partner, with a strong commitment to be the BNCCC’s first partner,” she explained.

Meanwhile, on the importance of the MoU, Haji Azhar said: “I think in the context of Brunei it will become more and more evident in terms of how useful it will be in the end. What’s also good is that the financial institution is coming to the fore on this, and they want everyone to be really aware that we are supporting action on climate change and we are committing to it. by providing this fund, so that it will help to achieve the ambitions and to execute the projects.

He added that although the policy of the national climate change program has been largely government driven, it ultimately needs to be a national approach. “So whether it’s government, industry or the community itself, everyone has to contribute to the agenda. “

Hajah Noraini explained that the funding will revolve around the three pillars of BIBD’s sustainability framework – environmental protection, responsible entrepreneurship and inclusive social impact.

Environmental protection includes clean energy, renewable energy, electric vehicles, biodiversity, sustainable aquaculture, agriculture / forestry and sustainable purchasing. The pillar of responsible entrepreneurship includes digitization, infrastructure, the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), low carbon transport infrastructure and asset management. Areas with inclusive social impact are financial literacy, access to finance, promotion of sustainable entrepreneurship and access to digitization.

BIBD has already led numerous corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the focus is now on mainstreaming sustainability into the business it -self, while working in collaboration with other partners, including businesses, other organizations, NGOs and the public.

“Sustainability is a huge task. The fight against climate change is a major effort that must be done collectively and in collaboration. We must act now, because the life of the next generation is truly in our hands. “

“We understand that we cannot do it alone. We can provide the funding to like-minded people for the cause they want to do, ”she said. “It is not an easy task, nor a small one, but we believe that as partners in society we can fix it; however giant it seems to scale. Insya Allah, we can and will do it together.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy Haji Azhar bin Haji Yahya during the interview.
Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman, Interim Managing Director and CEO of BIBD

Strong points

Brunei Darussalam National Policy on Climate Change
– Launched on July 25, 2020 to pave Brunei Darussalam’s low-carbon, climate-resilient pathways for a sustainable nation.
– Driven by the five objectives (Maqasid) of Syariah.
– Highlights 10 strategic areas: industrial emissions; forest cover; electric vehicles; renewable energy; power management; carbon pricing; Waste Management; resilience and adaptation to climate change; carbon inventory; as well as awareness and education.
– Guided by the principles of achieving Brunei Vision 2035 and promoting the economic security, sustainability and prosperity of the country through a low carbon approach in three key areas: oil and gas exports; environmental sustainability; and economic diversification.

Memorandum of Understanding
– The BIBD and BNCCC intend to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the first quarter of 2022.
– Through the MoU, BIBD will work in conjunction with the BNCCC and aspires to become a catalyst to raise public awareness of the climate change agenda and to be an influencer for its clients, community and industry .
– Help achieve ambitions and execute projects in support of climate change action.
– Enable businesses and individuals to access climate change funds, where BIBD will provide funding and be the partner of choice to support relevant projects.
– Funding will revolve around three pillars of BIBD’s sustainability framework – environmental protection, responsible entrepreneurship and inclusive social impact.