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Sultan Nazrin Shah, Sultan of Perak, stated that Malaysia should adjust its economic growth trajectory in order to respect the natural limits imposed by the planetary boundaries.
He stated that Malaysia should not reduce energy consumption per se. It needs to move away from unsustainable, damaging fossil fuels and towards greater use of renewable resources.
Energy consumption would not have to be restricted if these resources were used effectively. The current methods of producing food, including livestock and crops, can also be modified to make them more sustainable and regenerative than harmful.
In his address to the Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit, he stated that technological advances would be a great help in our quest. He mentioned the drones used to deliver fertiliser more precisely and the increased battery capacity to store energy. However, economic growth must be separated from the overuse of natural resources and reliance on fragile ecosystems.
He said that this transition doesn’t require Malaysia to stop economic growth or to make a trade-off between sustainability and growth. Such a tradeoff would unfairly prevent further development for too many people, even those who are yet to reach the highest levels of human well-being.
Sultan Nazrin stated that sustainability requires much-improved environmental governance. Therefore, it is essential to improve regulatory and administrative coordination between agencies dealing with environmental issues.
“We must create an ecosystem-based approach to sustainability that involves all stakeholders and place broad-based economic and social inclusion at the heart of our strategies.”
“Inclusive development, by definition, must embrace the needs of both the current and future generations. Choices made now will leave an indelible mark on the country’s future,” he said.
He stated that the transition to a better planet must be real and not just talk. Therefore, policies and incentives must adapt to ensure growth continues and that it is inclusive and sustainable.