KUALA LUMPUR – The 12MP (12th Malaysia Plan) will be shifting the nation’s economic model from the conventional linear model to the sustainable circular model, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
During the roundtable discussion co-hosted by the United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei (UNGC) and Bloomberg recently, Mustapa said the conventional linear economic model is demonstrated to be environmentally damaging.
Thus, the transition would allow for the country to realise a systematic move particularly towards long-term resilience, remove unsustainable consumption and production methods, while at the same time address issues related to climate change, environmental degradation, and loss of biodiversity.
The minister stated that the circular economic model would focus on the sustainable consumption and production strategies that would do “more and better with less” through the reduction of resources used, and minimising environmental degradation and pollution throughout the life cycle of products and services.
He explained that through implementing this strategy, it would result in less demand for natural resources and thus reduce the environmental stress and impact.
“This will ultimately improve the quality of life for all Malaysians,” he added.
Efforts are taken for this economic model shift
Mustapa stated that the country had undertaken catalytic steps in recent years in order to enhance the sustainable consumption and production approach which are found under the circular economic model.
He gave the example of the green government procurement (GGP) programme, established in 2014 to be a catalyst in promoting the development of a “green market” within Malaysia.
The GGP was successful in growing the amount of registered green products and services from 1,330 in 2017 to 9,647 recorded in December 2021.
Additionally, the minister calls for the private sector to play a constructive role to support and complement the circular economic model.
“Businesses must prioritise the sustainability agenda when it comes to developing business plans. This will result in the delivery of goods and services which are eco-friendly,” he continued.
According to data from the European Commission and the United States Enviromental Protection Agency, Mustapa reported that an estimate of over 80% of environmental impacts caused by products are determined during the product design phase.
For that, he stated that the government could not achieve the Agenda for Sustainable Development by 2030 alone and must have the private sector be aware of the shared responsibilities on the path.
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