Recently, Singapore strengthened its commitment to battle climate change with the release of its national climate change strategy. The document “Climate Change and Singapore: Challenges, Opportunities, Partnerships” highlights the country’s plans to advance its position in curbing its environmental impacts and coping.
Singapore aims to reduce its emissions across all sectors, cope with the impacts of climate change, optimize the opportunities for “green growth,” and intensify global partnerships on climate change.
“Our vision for Singapore is a climate-resilient global city that is well positioned for green growth…We need a whole-of-nation effort – involving the people, the private and the public sectors to realize our vision,” said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
Considering its small size and dense urban landscape, the country aims to concentrate its efforts in coping with the impacts of climate change, like floods and extreme weather events, by means of integrated land use development, water management and research and infrastructure investment, C40, a global network that works on cutting emissions of the cities, said in its blog.
The new climate change strategy also highlights some of the nation’s existing efforts that continuously contribute to its sustainability. Singapore envisions itself to become a “green growth hub” that delivers green solutions both at the national and global levels. As such, it has been investing in research and development as one of the foundations of this goal.
R & D
The local research community in the country has established strong R & D capabilities in clean technology. Two of its premiere education institutes, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, include a group of experts working closely to develop “solutions to complex and wide-ranging energy and sustainability challenges.”
“While climate change clearly poses significant global challenges, it also provides strong incentives for entrepreneurship, research and development and creative problem-solving to help cities and communities anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to its impact,” the climate change document read.
Singapore is a small island country comprising 63 islands. While this could be a setback to emission reduction due to the meagerness of alternative energy resources, it is surprising how it turned out to be a great opportunity to offer an ideal test bed for companies seeking to assess the viability of clean technologies and processes, before taking them in the larger markets.
CleanTech Park by the JTC Corporation is the first eco-business park in the region which provides a platform for testing clean technologies and sustainable urban solutions. Meanwhile, Punggol Eco-Town is a “real-life” community that lives the green lifestyle through solar technology, lithium-ion batteries and a Home Energy Management System by Japanese electronics Panasonic, along with three of Singapore’s local agencies.
Other test bed projects include the Intelligent energy System Pilot, a smart grid scheme that will improve the country’s overall energy efficiency; electric vehicle test bed, which assesses the viability of using EV’s in Singapore; and zero energy building, a flagship project that currently tests the integration of green building technologies into existing buildings.
Singapore is touted as one of the nations exhibiting strong dedication to climate change mitigation and for the coming years it seeks international cooperation to “arrest climate change.”
At the national level, it pledged to provide policy frameworks, public investments, information and support to fast track its move to a low carbon future.
“Our national strategy will be updated as the world’s knowledge of climate science and climate modeling improves. As we stabilize and reduce our emissions over time, we will ensure that Singapore remains resilient to the adverse effects of climate change, and continues to thrive in a changing world.” (Catherine Dominguez)