CARE FOR THE EN­VI­RON­MENT THROUGH GREEN INI­TIA­TIVES

The Green Tech­nol­ogy Fi­nanc­ing Scheme started by the prime min­is­ter has opened great busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple

New Straits Times - - Opinion -

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.

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