Badawi: Use Carrot Instead of Stick For Carbon Emissions



The headline in red at the top is from the page 3 of The Star. The NST’s headline is “PM: Use technology to tackle climate change”.

A day after my letter detailing the Green Carrot Compromise came out in The Sun and The Star newspapers, our PM steps forward and promotes the same idea. 

According to the papers, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says (paraphrased): Greater emphasis on incentives, rather than penalties, should be encouraged to spur compliance with carbon emission limitations. Use technology to tackle climate change.

It would be totally different if my letter came out the same day Badawi’s announcement was released. That would be just nice timing.

So… Wow. Either we think alike, or he was inspired by my letters; or the editors knew something was up when they published my letters; or it was sheer coincidence; or we share an undisclosed telepathic link.


From The Star 12 June 2007:


     BadawiCarrot1     BadawiCarrot2

PM: Use carrot instead of stick

KUALA LUMPUR: Greater emphasis on incentives, rather than penalties, should be encouraged to spur investments and compliance with carbon emission limitations to mitigate the risks of climate change, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said. 

The Prime Minister said a global framework should also be formed to promote energy efficiency. 

“We need to deepen our understanding of the causes of climate change, and act on the levers that we already know would have an impact on climate change,” he said in his keynote address at the opening of the 12th Annual Asia Oil & Gas Conference at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday. 

Abdullah said climate change was an issue that loomed large in the public consciousness. 

“It crosses all boundaries, impacting industry and governments, as well as consumers in every part of the world,” he added. 

Abdullah said the energy industry had a responsibility to contribute to policy discussions and take concrete actions to actively reduce emissions. 

“I believe that when industry participants display the necessary corporate social responsibility in tackling the issue of climate change, only then can any realistic progress be made,” he said. 

Abdullah also said technology and innovation need not necessarily only come from the major nations. 

Asian national oil companies and other oil and gas participants in Asia should promote and invest in strengthening internal R&D programmes, as well as collaborate between themselves if they were to remain relevant in the highly-competitive industry, he added. 

Abdullah said financial capital, economic policies, physical infrastructure and natural resources would continue to be the key drivers for the oil and gas industry. 

“However, we must acknowledge that it is human capital that will truly drive the future of the industry.  

“This will bring out new challenges in developing the right knowledge, capability and expertise among Asian industry participants,” he said. 

In his speech, Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican said a recent report estimated that the overall cost of climate change was equivalent to losing 5% of the global Gross Domestic Product each year. 

He said that governments could promote energy efficiency and emission reduction, not only through fiscal incentives but also by investing in research and development.  


From NST 12 June 2007 (NST removes links after a week):

     BadawiCarrot3     BadawiCarrot4

PM: Use technology to tackle climate change

By : Koh Lay Chin and Cheryl Fernando

KUALA LUMPUR: Technology is the key to helping Asian oil companies ease climate change, the prime minister said yesterday.

Repeatedly stressing the problems of global warming, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said improvements in technology would not only boost oil companies’ competitiveness, but also reduce the environmental impact of the energy industry.

“This would include improving the energy efficiency of industrial processes, as well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Developments in alternative energy sources are also very promising.

“Such developments would help enhance security of supply, as well as address deep environmental concerns,” Abdullah told participants of the 12th annual Asia Oil & Gas Conference in his opening speech.

Touching on the conference theme of “A Shared Future”, Abdullah said there was now a sense of urgency needing quick and decisive action to address climate change.
The three-day conference, held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, will focus on the need to ensure a safe, reliable and sustainable energy future for countries’ common benefit.

Abdullah said improving the fuel economy of light-duty vehicle fleets and reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants must be priorities.

Sound urban planning and research into new technologies were also needed, he added, as well as a “greater emphasis on incentives, rather than penalties” to spur investments and compliance with carbon emission limitations.

He also urged industry leaders and players to contribute to policy discussions in the pursuit of emissions reduction.

“Industry leaders cannot delegate or shirk this responsibility.

“I believe that when industry participants display the necessary corporate social responsibility in tackling the issue of climate change, only then can any realistic progress be made.”

Asia accounts for an increasingly larger share of the global demand for energy, with developing Asia expected to overtake North America as the single largest market for energy.

Speaking about Asia’s challenges in the industry, Abdullah said energy security was a highly charged concern with much of the region’s oil and gas supply flowing from politically volatile areas such West Asia.

Technology could help enhance energy security, he said, with sophisticated technology allowing the industry to develop previously uneconomic and unconventional resources such as oil sands, heavy oil and oil shale.

He also said the industry was adjusting to the growing maturity of national oil companies, as they undertake more complex projects on their own or through ventures with others.

The prime minister at this juncture expressed delight over Petronas’ inclusion in Financial Times’ new “Seven Sisters” list of the most influential energy companies from countries outside the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“I am proud to note that Petronas has been included in this distinguished list,” he said.

He said for national oil companies and multinationals to move forward, they needed to find new ways to strike meaningful and mutually beneficial tie-ups on a long-term basis.

They would also need to plan human capital development up to 2030, he said, so that the Asian workforce would be ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of that era.

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