After this Straits Times article featuring comments from Yaacob Ibrahim, PM Lee has said at the launch of Clean and Green week that Singapore will do it’s part.
Channel News Asia: S’pore to bear fair share of collective global effort to cut CO2 emissions
SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, launching the Clean and Green 2010 campaign at the HortPark on Friday, urged Singaporeans to prepare for the global challenge of climate change.
He added that as a responsible member of the international community, Singapore will bear its fair share of the collective effort to reduce carbon emissions.
Mr Lee pointed out that as a small country, Singapore’s carbon emissions are a “negligible” part of global emissions, and it is not under any international obligations to make absolute cuts.
He said: “Furthermore, we are not an Annex 1 Country under the Kyoto Protocol, which has an international obligation to make absolute cuts.
“Unlike many bigger countries, we face serious limitations in switching to alternative energy sources or reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
“Nevertheless, we are a responsible member of the international community, and we have to bear our fair share of the collective global effort to reduce carbon emissions.
“Therefore, provided other countries also commit to do their part in a global deal, we will reduce emissions from ‘business-as-usual’ levels and do what we need to do with other countries to reduce humankind’s CO2 emissions.”
Responding to media queries, Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said Singapore has been committed to protecting the environment since the 1960s.
He said the government had kept the environment at the forefront of its development considerations “long before sustainable development became an international concern”.
Earlier this year, the government launched a blueprint which represents a major national effort to reduce emissions. Mr Lee added that Singapore is carefully studying whether it can do more.
The Sustainable Development Blueprint includes calls for at least 80 per cent of all buildings in Singapore to be energy-efficient. And steps have already been taken, such as installing solar panels to convert the sun’s rays into electricity for housing blocks.
Singapore is no stranger to green initiatives, having started its green journey more than 40 years ago. In addition to creating more nature parks, it is also getting residents to buy eco-friendly appliances.
Mr Lee said the government will continue to find new ways to protect the environment amid rapid development. But the success of these initiatives depends on the support of the community.
Prime Minister Lee also launched a national programme to help companies cut down on wastage and improve energy efficiency.
The idea here is that such measures will help businesses lower costs in the long run while reducing their carbon footprint.
The impact of such a scheme can be quite substantial because the industry sector accounts for nearly 60 per cent of Singapore’s total energy consumption.