Singapore's production, consumption also to blame

While it is much easier to point our fingers at ordinary Indonesian farmers, incompetent officials or allegedly corrupt companies, it is important also to recognise our own complicity in global production and consumption cycles.

Singapore has one of the highest per capita energy consumption rates and ecological footprints in the world.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), if every person lived like a Singaporean, we would need 4.1 planets to sustain humanity.

The world's largest palm oil-based diesel plant is in Singapore, gulping almost a million tonnes of raw material annually.

Singapore's food wastage, meanwhile, is also arguably the highest in the world, at 130kg per person per year. Palm oil, of course, is heavily used in the food industry.

Singapore is small, a drop in the ocean. Our trade-dependent economy has unique energy needs.

But we are a model to which many in Asia aspire.

It would be a shame if the current haze served only to focus our energies on the failings of others and not our own behaviour.

Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline 'Singapore's production, consumption also to blame'. Print Edition | Subscribe