KUCHING, Dec 1 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today said that the state government will soon draw up rules to regulate forest carbon activities, including afforestation and reforestation, and the storage of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in both offshore and onshore.
He said the drawing of the rules follows the passage of the amendments to the state Forest Ordinance and Land Code in the state assembly in May this year to enable Sarawak to initiate activities that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) to mitigate the effects of global warming.
“These activities, which would be undertaken in accordance with protocols and the Clean Development Mechanism formulated under the Kyoto and Paris Agreements on Climate Change, will yield tradable carbon credits and provide a new source of revenue for Sarawak,” he said in his winding-up speech at the Sarawak State Assembly.
He stressed under the forest carbon activities concept, Sarawak will pursue a new direction in forestry management of preserving the trees, planting more trees, restoring and rejuvenating degraded forests.
The premier said licences will be issued to regulate the establishment of forest carbon projects that will contribute towards the reduction in carbon emissions.
He said the first regulated forest carbon project will commence in Sarawak in the first quarter of 2023, adding that this initiative will be driven by the private sector entities with the technological know-how and financial resources to ensure their success and sustainability.
Abang Johari said Sarawak, because of its stable geological formations, has the biggest carbon storage capacity in offshore areas.
“It is estimated that Sarawak has 30 trillion cubic meters of carbon storage capacity in the seabed of its continental shelf.
“The depleted or abandoned petroleum fields in offshore areas are suitable for development into sites for secured, permanent storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) captured by oil and gas companies who now have obligations to reduce emission of CO2 into the atmosphere,” he said.
Abang Johari said the captured and stored CO2 can be used for making of hydrogen (H2), blue ammonia, biofuels and other products, thus providing a platform for the sustained development of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) industry in Sarawak.
He said the state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) are working jointly to begin work on development of a depleted oil field off the coast of Sarawak for storage of captured CO2 from an adjacent oil-producing field.