Reducing carbon footprint requires everyone's effort

Participants at Singapore's first Car-Free Sunday event on Feb 28.
Participants at Singapore's first Car-Free Sunday event on Feb 28. PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Chan Swee Wing for his suggestions on ways for Singapore to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions ("Act now to reduce our carbon footprint"; May 2).

Singapore made a commitment ahead of the Paris Agreement to reduce its emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and to stabilise emissions, with the aim of peaking around the same time.

This is an ambitious goal, given our limited renewable energy options. Efforts to promote energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy will need to be stepped up.

The Government has introduced capability development initiatives, incentive and financing schemes, as well as mandatory energy management practices to spur companies to reduce emissions by improving energy efficiency.

Property developers and building owners are encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of buildings through the Green Mark scheme.

The scheme also promotes environmentally friendly building designs that make use of natural ventilation, as well as features such as green roofs and green walls, to reduce indoor heat and the need for air-conditioning.

The Government is also promoting a car-lite Singapore through encouraging the use of public transport, as well as improving first- and last-mile connectivity for commuters.

The rail network will be increased from 200km today to about 360km by 2030. Commuters will have more choices for travel via public transport.

In addition, the vehicle population growth rate has been reduced from 3 per cent a year in 2009 to the current 0.25 per cent a year.

The Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme encourages the purchase of vehicles with lower emissions.

Household appliances such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, televisions, lamps and clothes dryers must carry labels to inform consumers of their energy consumption and energy cost.

Energy-inefficient home appliances are not allowed for sale.

In addition, households can identify the top energy guzzlers in their homes and estimate the monthly energy costs incurred by each appliance by using the Home Energy Auditor in the myENV mobile application.

Mr Chan has rightly pointed out that the Paris Agreement would mean little if we continue with business as usual.

Everyone can play a part to reduce Singapore's greenhouse gas emissions. The Government will continue to work with stakeholders, as part of the global effort to address climate change.

Yuen Sai Kuan
Director (Corporate Affairs)
National Climate Change Secretariat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2016, with the headline 'Reducing carbon footprint requires everyone's effort'. Print Edition | Subscribe