TODAY: Climate change authority responds to WWF’s ‘largest carbon footprint’ charge

The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) recently issued a response to World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) report citing Singapore as the largest carbon emitter in the Asia-Pacific. TODAY reports.

Climate change authority responds to WWF’s ‘largest carbon footprint’ charge

SINGAPORE – The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) has responded to environmental group World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) findings that the Republic has the largest carbon footprint per capita in the Asia-Pacific.

The NCCS issued its response to “provide a better understanding of the facts” and took issue with the WWF citing Singapore as “a society that may be one of the best examples of what we should not do” – a statement which “seriously misrepresents the situation”, said the NCCS.

The secretariat cited how the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Asian Green City Index last year had assessed Singapore as Asia’s greenest metropolis and said Singapore ranked “well above average” for its policies on energy and carbon emissions.

The EIU study found that Singapore used three megajoules of energy to generate US$1 (S$1.30) of gross domestic product (GDP) – half the Index’s average of six megajoules. The Index had examined the environmental performance of 22 Asian cities in eight categories including environmental governance, air quality, energy and carbon dioxide emissions.

The NCCS also noted that the methodology used by the WWF in its upcoming Asia Footprint Report differs from that of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The latter attributes emissions from goods to the country where they are produced, while WWF attributes carbon emissions from the goods to the importing country.

Based on the UNFCCC’s method, Singapore ranked below countries such as Brunei, Australia and South Korea in terms of per capita emissions, said the NCCS.

Even so, the NCCS noted “inherent limitations” in the use of per capita indicators to measure carbon emissions. “Carbon emissions per capita as a measure disadvantages countries with small populations,” it said.

This is so for Singapore due to its small land area, with no readily available alternative energy sources.

Singapore ranks favourably when it comes to energy intensity, the NCCS also pointed out.

Its carbon-dioxide emissions per dollar or GDP is among “the lowest internationally” – or 123 out of 137 countries, based on data from the International Energy Agency.

“Singapore will strive to be an even more environmentally green city, even given out inherent limitations as an island state,” the NCCS said.

Last Monday, the WWF had revealed that Singapore topped the list of carbon emitters per capita in the Asia-Pacific, saying its high GDP per capita fuelled consumption habits and citing the corporate sector and construction industry as a significant contributor.

Exact carbon emission levels of various countries will be revealed when its Asia Footprint Report is out in June.

Image taken from Charlie 2.0

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  • About Green Drinks Singapore

    Founded in November 2007, Green Drinks Singapore is one of more than 800 cities with a Green Drinks presence.

  • We are a non-profit environmental movement that connects academia, green businesses, activists, community and government, for knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities. We do this by organising informal talks every last Thursday of the month, over drinks! Once in a while, we hold discussions, documentary screenings and workshops to further engage the public and participants.
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