BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Brunei government has earmarked $2.1 million to fund the establishment of the ASEAN Climate Change Centre, which will serve as a think tank for climate research in the region.

Speaking at the Legislative Council on Monday, Second Finance and Economy Minister Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah said $700,000 from the government’s FY 2023/24 budget would be set aside for Phase I of the centre, from a total planning cost of $2.1 million.

He added that the centre will serve as a think tank, knowledge hub, strategic coordinator and integrator of climate action initiatives and activities in the ASEAN region.

Brunei ‘on track’ to meet climate pledge

The minister said Brunei is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030, in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement. It has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

In 2022, annual greenhouse gas emissions fell to 11.4 million tonnes of CO², surpassing the target of 15.82 million tonnes set by the government.

Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin said several mitigation measures were carried out last year, including reducing emissions from energy generation and the industrial sector, increasing share of renewable energy through solar projects, reducing waste disposal rates and planting 42,928 trees as part of reforestation.

“This year, efforts on addressing climate change issues will focus on adaptation measures, including the establishment of a National Adaptation Plan, the creation of a carbon pricing framework, the development of a Domestic Voluntary Carbon Offset framework, and the strengthening of transparency in the country’s greenhouse gas inventory through the National Forest Inventory and Directive projects,” he said.

In the 2023/24 budget, $25 million has been allocated to address natural disasters including floods and landslides, and a further $596,000 has been earmarked this year to mitigate natural disaster risks as part a $52.8 million project under RKN 11.