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S’pore ratifies pact committing countries to lower emissions

SINGAPORE — The Republic has ratified the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol — an international agreement that commits parties to emission reduction targets until 2020.

At the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit in New York yesterday, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, also outlined the action Singapore would take to limit carbon emissions and mitigate climate change.

He said Singapore is studying how to stabilise its emissions over the long term and is looking at how its economic strategies and industrial structure can best respond to and take advantage of a low-carbon future.

Singapore is rolling out measures to cut its emissions by 7-11 per cent from 2020 business-as-usual levels, which are estimated to be 77.2 million tonnes.

“Given our constraints in alternative energy and the fact that our actions are all domestically funded, this is a substantial commitment that entails economic and social opportunity costs,” he said.

Plans are afoot to ramp up solar deployment by installing solar panels on rooftops of flats and other areas to meet 5 per cent of Singapore’s projected peak electricity demand by 2020.

With energy efficiency as a key strategy, the Government aims to have 80 per cent of “green” buildings by 2030, in addition to other measures such as energy-efficiency standards for household appliances.

Singapore’s emissions grew at an average annual rate of 2 per cent in the past decade, marginally lower than the 2.2 per cent globally.

Over the same period, the country’s carbon intensity — emissions per dollar of gross domestic product — decreased by about 3.6 per cent per annum, compared with the 0.01 per cent global average decrease.

Earlier this week and in the lead-up to the UN Climate Summit, a group of non-governmental organisations called for a stronger response by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to weather calamities made worse by climate change.

In a policy brief, the group, called ASEAN for a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Global Climate Deal, which includes Oxfam and Greenpeace South-east Asia, urged the regional bloc to ensure the ASEAN Economic Community is low-carbon.

It also urged ASEAN to consider policy support for renewable energy and phase out subsidies for coal and oil.

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