CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH GREEN INITIATIVES
The Green Technology Financing Scheme started by the prime minister has opened great business opportunities for people
ONE of the best measures that modern civilisation can adopt to restore the natural balance in the environment is the use of green energy. Green energy is regarded by many to be a potential solution to our environmental crisis due to its sustainability, or its ability to meet the energy demands of global development while preserving the Earth for future generations.
Implementing green energy practices can manifest in the form of transitioning from the use of conventional fossil fuel to renewable energy resources to tackle global environmental issues, such as the greenhouse effect, global warming and climate change. Such a transition addresses the root cause of these environmental hazards: the large amount of carbon emissions produced through the use of fossil fuels in power plants, the industrial sector and transport.
In Malaysia, the transition from fossil fuels to green energy resources has become an issue in the country’s quest to become a developed nation. As the government aims to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, various incentives have been given to encourage investment in green technology industries and the adoption of green technology by the private sector. One of the most compelling measures towards green technology development is the financial support offered by the government and financial institutions. Under the Economic Transformation Programme, the government of Malaysia has created GreenTech Malaysia, a financing platform for new green projects that is supported by participating financial institutions (PFI’s). GreenTech Malaysia introduced the scheme, the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS), aimed at promoting investment in types of green technology with the potential to minimise the degradation of the environment, reduce green house gas emission, promote a healthy environment for life, and promote the use of renewable energy and natural resources.
GTFS was originally proposed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the tabling of the 2010 Budget with an allocation of RM1.5 billion. In 2013, the fund for GTFS was increased by RM2 billion while the application period for companies to apply for GTFS was extended to Dec 31, 2015, and during Budget 2016 it was further extended to Dec 31 this year. As stated by Green Tech Malaysia, 272 projects benefited from this scheme between 2010 and 2016, involving RM2.962 billion of financial support. According to a news release on March 2, the Green Technology and Climate Change Council meeting chaired by the prime minister has agreed to extend the fund for five years with an additional allocation of RM5 billion. The extension will definitely benefit companies that are producers and users of green technology. This national initiative has opened great business opportunities for the people, and also encouraged them to appreciate the environment and support sustainable development in Malaysia.
From another perspective, Malaysia’s initiative in developing green technology is in line with the Islamic concern about human responsibility to act as stewards of the Earth. This human responsibility mainly focuses on how to achieve inclusive development for both humanity and the environment. Developments in Islamic studies have highlighted the importance of environmental protection (hifz al-bi‘ah) and allied concepts such as trusteeship (amanah), custodianship (khalifah) and balance (mizan).
Humankind is given a great trust (amanah) to take good care of what they own and to use it for the benefit of themselves, the community, and the environment as a whole. Man is the caretaker or steward (khalifah) of the Earth with the responsibility to respect, nurture and care for the environment as well as his fellow humans — not the opposite. Preserving the balance (mizan) entails not benefiting from natural resources at the expense of the environment.
God commands human beings to avoid mischief and wasting earthly resources as these acts lead to the destruction of the environment (al A’raf, 7:85). This and other strong exhortations clearly enjoin humankind to be considerate and take good care of the environment in order to maintain its natural balance. In this case, it is clear that green energy practices can be the best option for us to take.
The implementation of green energy practices for the sake of humanity and environmental wellbeing can be achieved by spreading public awareness, cooperation between companies, strict enforcement, and continuous monitoring activities. All of this should begin with the individual through correct understanding and deep awareness.
The Quran designates trust as a hallmark of the faith of Muslims, and praises those who “fulfill their trusts (amanat) and observe their promises and commitments.” (al Mu’minun 23:8).
Care of the natural environment is therefore a divine trust (amanah) and what it means for us is to nurture the conservation of the environment’s natural balance through green initiatives.
The writer obtained his BSc in Physics from Universiti Malaya in 2011. He served as post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Science, UM, after obtaining his PhD in 2015. Currently, he is a Research Fellow at IAIS Malaysia, with an interest in Science and Islamic Ethics
In Malaysia, the transition from fossil fuels to green energy resources has become an issue in the country’s quest to become a developed nation. As the government aims to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, various incentives have been given to encourage investment in green technology industries and the adoption of green technology by the private sector.
GreenTech Malaysia’s Green Energy Office is in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor. The government created it as a financing platform for green projects.