KUALA LUMPUR: The Natural Resources and Environment Minister was irked by an opposition lawmaker who alleged that the Government had no political will to make Malaysia a â€œZero Carbon Nation.â€
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic) said during question time in Parliament that achieving a “Zero Carbon Nation” status was impossible as it would require strength in terms of economy, infrastructure and social.
One example, he said, is if the country’s economic source changes from one of producer to service-oriented.
â€œThis requires investment, technology and high capacity and such a transition needs to be done in stages with the country’s development plans.
â€œYou need to understand what zero carbon means, Yang Berhormat.
â€œZero carbon means a country does not produce or use oil (petroleum) or cement and this is impossible.
â€œOnly two countries that can perhaps achieve that, which are Bhutan and Vatican City.
â€œBhutan only has 750,000 people and has a big forest, they do not allow anyone to enter, not even tourists.
â€œIt is an isolated country by itself. However, if you check, even Bhutan produces 1.8 million tonnes of carbon each year.
â€œThis shows that zero carbon cannot be achieved,” said Wan Junaidi in response to Thomas Su (DAP-Ipoh Timor).
Su had asked to state the long-term plans to address the problems of climate change and if the Government has any plans to make Malaysia a “Zero Carbon Nation” by 2030.
Wan Junaidi added the Government hopes to achieve a balance in terms of carbon discharge and carbon sink by 2030.
Su was not satisfied with the reply and said the ministerâ€™s reply was not encouraging.
“We know that it is hard but I am asking what is our long term plan, what are the measures that we can move towards a zero carbon nation,â€ Su said.
To this, Wan Junaidi said Su must understand the term “Zero Carbon Nation” before using it.
Su interrupted Wan Junaidi saying he understands the definition of “Zero Carbon Nation.”
“Yes although it seems difficult, we cannot say it is impossible. It is not if I understand the term or not, it is if the Government has long-term plans or not,” added Su.
An irked Wan Junaidi said:
â€œYou are someone who doesn’t understand. Listen to what we have to say. Don’t just go on a rant.
â€œListen to the definition, shut up. Why don’t you listen to the definition?” said Wan Junaidi while Su kept interrupting him in the background.
Wan Junaidi stressed that zero carbon is impossible to achieve, adding that Malaysia uses the term carbon neutrality.
Carbon neutrality, he added, means there is enough carbon sink to offset the carbon that is produced.
Wan Junaidi said there was no country in the world that do not use fossil fuels at all.
“We are an oil-producing country and we have our plantations, you cannot destroy our plantations. Do you want to shut down everything?” asked Wan Junaidi.