Green Drinks: Singapore’s National Climate Change Strategy 2012

Last month, the National Climate Change Secretariat released the National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS-2012) document titled ‘Climate Change and Singapore: Challenges. Opportunities. Partnerships’, outlining Singapore’s plans to address climate change through a whole-of-nation approach.

At this special session, Director of the 3P Network at the National Climate Change Secretariat, Mr Yuen Sai Kuan will give a presentation on this document, before we go into a panel discussion on the document and look at how Singapore residents can collectively take action.

The panel consists of:
– Grace Chua, The Straits Times (Moderator)
– Michael Quah, NUS
– Allan Lim, Alpha Biofuels
– Faizah Jamal, Nominated Member of Parliament
– Eugene Tay, Green Future Solutions
– Melissa Low, Energy Studies Institute

Event details

Date: 12 July (Thursday) 2012
Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm (talk will be followed by Q&A, then mingling)
Venue: NTUC Centre, 1 Marina Boulevard, Level 9, Room 903
RSVP: olivia@greendrinkssingapore.com

To download a copy of the document, please visit http://app.nccs.gov.sg/page.aspx?pageid=123

Nothing But Green will be on site to sell light food and non-alcoholic beverages.

We hope to see you there!

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Channel NewsAsia: Singapore’s strategy to fight climate change

The National Climate Change Secretariat released their national climate change strategy paper last week. You can download it here – NCCS-2012.

Channel NewsAsia reports.

Singapore’s strategy to fight climate change

SINGAPORE: Singapore has released a national climate change strategy document which outlines the country’s plans to address climate change through a whole-of-nation approach.

The key elements of Singapore’s climate strategy include reducing emissions across sectors, building capabilities to adapt to the impact of climate change, harnessing opportunities for green growth and forging partnerships on climate change action.

The 136-page document was launched on Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also the chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change.

Mr Teo said: “Energy efficiency is one of the key strategies because we are an alternative-energy-disadvantaged country because we do not have hydroelectricity (or) nuclear power. Even if it (nuclear power) is an option, it is a very long-term option because of our density.”

On reducing emissions, Mr Teo said the inter-ministerial committee will study how Singapore can stabilise its long-term emissions.

At the same time, he urged everyone to play his or her part to combat climate change.

“What can you do, what can we do, what can I do together? Ultimately how well Singapore does in our response to climate change will depend on the collective efforts across the people, private and public sectors,” he said.

Mr Teo added: “Everyone has a part to play whether through lifestyle adjustments or changes in business processes. This could be through buying more efficient appliances, taking public transport, using less air-conditioning or simply switching off the lights when we leave our homes, classrooms or offices.”

Isabella Loh, chairman of the Singapore Environment Council, said: “We are encouraging through ownership, through social media outlets as well as through events and programmes and partnering with corporates, to do more outreach whether it is in the school segment or the community. That goes for energy audits and consumer understanding of green products.”

It is projected that Singapore’s business-as-usual emissions are expected to reach 77.2 million tonnes by 2020. The business-as-usual level refers to Singapore’s projected greenhouse gas emissions without policy intervention.

The National Climate Change Secretariat said the manufacturing sector will contribute 60.3 per cent of these emissions, with global manufacturing companies set to scale up their operations in Singapore in the coming years.

Singapore’s refining and chemical industries are expected to contribute about half of Singapore’s projected 2020 emissions. In view of this, Singapore has put in place various schemes to facilitate the adoption of energy efficient technologies and processes in manufacturing plants.

The building sector is estimated to contribute 13.8 per cent of 2020 emission levels. The National Climate Change Secretariat said the increasing demand for commercial space and more intensive use of space are likely to contribute to an increase in emissions from this sector.

Recognising this, the government has implemented measures and incentives to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

The transport sector is projected to contribute 14.5 per cent to greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. Private cars contribute the largest share of 35 per cent of land transport emissions, followed by commercial vehicles, buses, taxis and the rapid transit rail system.

The secretariat said it will step up efforts to increase the attractiveness of public transport and encourage the public to make use of this energy efficient mode of transport.

Under the Land Transport Masterplan, Singapore targets to achieve a 70 per cent public transport modal split by 2020, up from 59 per cent in 2008.

Households will contribute about 7.6 per cent of emissions. That is because growing population size and household incomes are expected to increase the demand for electrical appliances like air-conditioners, televisions, lightings and refrigerators, which contribute to greenhouse gases.

The secretariat said it has put in place awareness programmes to educate households on ways to save energy. It added that it will consider more measures to influence purchasing and energy usage patterns.

The secretariat has published a booklet entitled “The fight against climate change begins with You”. Through this booklet, Singaporeans can find out how much money they can save in a year if they adopt energy efficient habits. For example, using a fan instead of the air-conditioner can help them save S$790 a year.

There will also be a series of public outreach programmes from September and a two-part documentary to educate the public on climate change. There are also plans for climate change education in collaboration with the Education Ministry and the Science Centre.

In his message published in the document, Mr Teo said Singapore needs to be pragmatic and practical, yet bold and visionary in addressing the issues surrounding climate change.

He said: “Making adjustments earlier will make the transition easier. Every individual effort such as buying more energy-efficient appliances, taking public transport and using less energy will count.”

He said efforts to reduce Singapore’s long-term emissions will be challenging as Singapore’s small size limits the country’s ability to draw on alternative energy like solar, wind or nuclear.

Nonetheless, he said Singapore will enhance energy efficiency efforts and develop low carbon technologies to overcome current constraints.

Singapore is also building up expertise and capabilities on climate science, in partnerships with local and overseas research institutions.

Mr Teo added that Singapore is well-positioned to tap the economic opportunities arising from climate change by creating high-value jobs for Singaporeans and enabling the economy to benefit from green growth.

Asked about the status of the Global Climate Change talks, Mr Teo explained: “It will be difficult because every country has its own interest which it wants to advance. But from being in Durban last year, there was a consensus that we should try to reach a global agreement.

“This is not something which country A does and country B doesn’t do. Then all that country A does almost gets nullified by what country B isn’t doing. So you do need a global agreement and that consensus on that. But the shape of the global agreement will be a subject of intense discussion.

“On Singapore’s part, we have followed the standard methodology and arrived at what our projected carbon emissions would be in 2020 if we just did Business As Usual, and we have made a commitment to reduce that between seven and 11 per cent unconditionally and the NCCS 2020 document maps out what we are going to do.”

As for the longer term target of 16 percent, he said Singapore would have to take more energy efficient measures. “One of the things we have to consider is carbon tax…we are still studying whether it is appropriate and what is the best way of doing so. We are looking at the experiences of other countries, as well.”

The Straits Times: New measures lined up to fight climate change

The government this week announced plans to introduce measures to address climate change issues, these will be documented in a National Climate Change Strategy 2012 report, to be released mid year. The budget set aside by the Prime Minister’s Office is $344,416,000. The Straits Times reports.

New measures lined up to fight climate change

THE Government will be introducing more legislation and policies to tackle climate change, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.

While progress has been made in greening the country, more must be done to prepare, he told Parliament.

For example, new guidelines will push consumers to choose more eco-friendly options – such as an emissions-based vehicle scheme that will give buyers a financial incentive to choose a greener car.

Air-conditioners and refrigerators will also be subjected to more stringent energy performance standards from next year, and lighting products from 2014.

These and other measures will be announced by the relevant ministries at their upcoming Committee of Supply debates, said DPM Teo

Policies to help industries go greener will also be introduced.

The Trade and Industry Ministry, for instance, will pilot repayable financing schemes to boost private sector investments in energy efficiency.

Mr Teo, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC), was responding to questions by MPs Teo Ho Pin, Lam Pin Min and Charles Chong on Singapore’s strategy for fighting climate change.

He said plans to do so will be detailed in a National Climate Change Strategy 2012 report, to be released in the middle of this year.

It will spell out not just the Government’s efforts to deal with climate change, but also what individuals, households and businesses need to do.

Should tougher legislation translate into additional costs, the Government will step in with grants and rebates where appropriate, especially for the needy, DPM Teo assured.

A working group under the IMCCC will also study how the country can stabilise its long-term emissions.

It will be a challenge, given that Singapore faces restrictions in tapping alternative energy sources such as solar, wind or nuclear power.

‘The government will adopt a pragmatic approach and pace the implementation of policies appropriately, so that our economy and our people will adapt to the new environment,’ he said.

The working group will study Singapore’s post-2020 emissions path, and suggest options that will reduce emissions as well as identify the capabilities, infrastructure and policies needed for the long term.

The group will be represented by several ministries – Trade and Industry, Transport, Environment and Water Resources, National Development and Finance, as well as the National Research Foundation and the National Climate Change Secretariat.

As to whether nuclear energy is still on the cards, a question posed by Nee Soon GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak, DPM Teo said it is an option which cannot be ruled out, but it is a ‘very long-term possibility’.

‘I think nuclear plants will have to be many times, a couple of orders of magnitude, more stable, safer than they are today, before we will feel comfortable having a nuclear plant in Singapore,’ he said.

Image taken from SorbyRock

The Straits Times: More Singaporeans care about climate change

The Straits Times reported on the National Climate Change Secretariat’s survey on the awareness levels of Singaporeans towards climate change. Green Drinks Singapore was asked for our reaction towards the results.

More Singaporeans care about climate change

The first local survey on climate change shows that most Singaporeans are concerned about the issue and believe in taking action to address it.

The findings, released yesterday by the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), took civic and industry organisations by surprise and all agreed that the trend was encouraging.

The NCCS conducted a face-to-face poll of about 1,000 Singaporeans aged 15 and above from October to December last year on issues relating to climate change.

At the time, there was serious flooding in Thailand and Singapore also experienced heavy rainfall and floods – events which might have raised public awareness about environmental issues.

The survey showed that 86 per cent, or more than eight in 10 of the respondents, felt a sense of responsibility in dealing with climate change, and 74 per cent were concerned about it.

Some 63 per cent felt that Singapore would be severely affected, while 58 per cent said the country should take action to reduce the effects of climate change even if it involved significant cost.

Singapore Environment Council executive director Jose Raymond said the results surpassed his expectations and countered the popular notion that Singaporeans do not care about climate change.

Ms Olivia Choong, co-founder of environmental group Green Drinks Singapore, said she had expected the numbers to be lower, based on her own interaction with the public.

The positive findings were a stark contrast to a broader public perception survey on the environment done in 2005 by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

Then, only 53 per cent of those polled said they had even heard of climate change or global warming.

Asked why they were concerned about climate change, three-quarters of those surveyed last year agreed that the environment had to be preserved for future generations and that everyone shared this responsibility.

About half had a more practical reason for adopting eco-friendly practices: It would help lower the cost of living.

But despite the survey findings indicating a high level of support for efforts to deal with climate change, only half of those polled said they would like to receive more information.

Of this group, most wanted to know more about the impacts and effects, the science behind climate change, and what individuals can do.

Ms Choong said there could still be a gap between Singaporeans saying they care about climate change and actually doing something about it.

The NCCS yesterday also released key suggestions from its public consultation exercise for Singapore’s National Climate Change Strategy 2012, conducted from September till last month.

The document, to be published in the middle of the year, will set out ways for Singapore to reduce its carbon emissions and prepare against the effects of climate change, and include suggestions from members of the public.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change, said in a statement yesterday that he was heartened by the strong support for climate change action.

‘If we do our part, we can help protect the environment for future generations and ensure that Singapore is well prepared for climate change, and remains economically competitive and vibrant,’ he said.

The NCCS findings can be viewed at www.nccs.gov.sg/consultation.

Highlights and feedback paper: National Climate Change Strategy 2012 panel discussion

Just two weeks ago, we had a productive open discussion on what can be done to improve Singapore’s National Climate Change Strategy 2012 (NCCS-2012). We were extremely glad to have the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) with us that evening, and felt very honoured to have Permanent Secretary Mr Tan Yong Soon kick off the panel discussion, which comprised of well-respected changemakers in the environmental industry.

Many interesting viewpoints were raised in the four key areas of households, transport, industry, and clean technology. Panellists covered topics such as slowing down migration, national rationing exercises, education in schools and to the community, behavioural change, a bicycle sharing scheme, redeveloping a new set of 3Rs, carbon capture and storage/utilisation, a softer approach by the government, and the need to act quickly.

Green Drinks participants were also ready to offer their industry and community viewpoints. To find out what was discussed in that session, you can download the transcription and our suggestions here – Feedback on Singapore’s National Climate Change Strategy 2012, which we have submitted to the National Climate Change Secretariat. Thank you to everyone that helped make this happen, especially Eugene Tay, who suggested that we do this panel discussion in the first place.

Green Drinks: National Climate Change Strategy 2012 Panel Discussion

Our upcoming Green Drinks has been specially organised in consultation with the National Climate Change Secretariat (in the Prime Minister’s Office) to gather industry feedback from business/ community/ academia/ NGOs on Singapore’s National Climate Change Strategy 2012.

This session features a discussion with 9 panellists, plus one moderator – Jessica Cheam. Members of the audience will be invited to pose questions and comments during the evening. Some public officers from NCCS will be present on the night to listen to your feedback.

Our panel for the evening includes:
– Jessica Cheam, Eco-Business (Moderator)
– Abigail Alling, Biosphere Foundation
– PK Wong, A*STAR
– Michael Quah, NUS
– Sanjay C Kuttan, DNV Clean Technology Centre
– Howard Shaw, Halcyon Group
– Allan Lim, Alpha Biofuels
– David Chou, evHUB
– Eugene Tay, Low Carbon SG / Green Future Solutions
– Vaidehi Shah, Singapore Environment Council

Details

Date: 27 October 2011 (Thursday)
Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Venue: TAB, 442 Orchard Road, #02-29, main entrance at Orchard Road street level, between Delphi Orchard and the tapas bar.
Admission is free

RSVP at our Facebook event page, or email us at olivia@greendrinkssingapore.com

We hope to see you there!

The Straits Times: Chip in with ideas to make S’pore greener

The Straits Times today reported on the National Climate Change Secretariat‘s (NCCS) plans to put together the National Climate Change Strategy 2012 (NCCS-2012), and their call for ideas through a feedback channel on their webpage.

According to their website, the publication provides “a framework and overall strategy for us to tackle climate change related issues. It will also outline policies and measures to reduce emissions, cope with the impact of climate change and build our capabilities to tap on opportunities arising from climate change.”

Have some suggestions? Do put in your ideas here!

Chip in with ideas to make S’pore greener

Feedback portal launched to help draft nation’s climate change strategy

HAVE an idea you are burning to share about how to make Singapore greener? Here’s your chance.

The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) has launched a nationwide feedback exercise which will be used to draft the country’s first comprehensive climate change strategy.

Speaking at the launch of the new feedback portal yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the National Climate Change Strategy 2012, as it is called, will set out detailed plans on how Singapore can reduce its carbon emissions and how it can prepare against effects such as sea level rises.

Carbon emissions are widely considered to be the cause of climate change, which affects long-term weather patterns and can result in extreme weather events.

Acknowledging that the concept of climate change may be too abstract for the average person, DPM Teo said the consultation also aimed to raise awareness.

‘The purpose of this is to firstly create awareness… among people, and we want to seek ideas from people on how they can contribute to solving the climate change problem, and to motivate action,’ he told reporters.

The new feedback portal at http://www.nccs.gov.sg/consultation is the first of a series of initiatives led by the NCCS to gather ideas and feedback from citizens. The NCCS will conduct focus groups and community forums to reach out to the public in the next few months. The four areas it will focus on are households, transport, industries and clean technology opportunities.

The document, due to be released in the middle of next year, will build on the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, a five-year plan launched in 2009 to help Singapore become greener and more energy efficient.

Industry observers such as Associate Professor Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, welcomed the public consultation. ‘There are times where the Government is looking for a variety of ideas, having set a macro target… It’s a good example of consultative government, (where) different sectors of society can contribute ideas,’ he said.

Ms Olivia Choong, founder of the Singapore chapter of Green Drinks, an environmental movement, said she was looking forward to giving her views.

‘I think we need more incentives to drive greener transportation, such as taking buses or switching to electric vehicles,’ she said.

DPM Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, yesterday also gave prizes to winners of the inaugural National Climate Change Competition at a ceremony held at the Environment Building.

Two teams, from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, tied for the top prize, which is a trip to Durban, South Africa, at the end of the year to attend the United Nations climate change summit.

The NUS team won for their initiative to remove rubbish bins on the campus for a day to raise environmental awareness, and the NTU team won for their idea of a green mobile application that will help households monitor their energy usage.

The competition, which drew more than 140 entries, invited students and young people to contribute ideas on how they could address climate change.

Image taken from The Library of Congress