Helping industry to monitor its emissions

Big industry will have more detailed requirements for monitoring and reporting their emissions more accurately in the future, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, as the Paris climate agreement came into force yesterday.

Mr Teo, who is also chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change, was speaking at the awards ceremony for the National Climate Change Competition, a student video competition organised by the National Climate Change Secretariat.

"Each country has to account for the greenhouse gas emissions that it's making, so it's important in particular that the big emitters have good measurement and verification systems in place," Mr Teo pointed out.

Industrial companies that use 54 or more terajoules (TJ) of energy per year - in comparison, 63 TJ were released by the atomic bomb dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima in World War II - are already required by the Energy Conservation Act to appoint an energy manager, monitor and report energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as submit energy-efficiency improvement plans annually.

But fuel can be used in different ways, making it difficult for companies to determine how much greenhouse gases they are emitting.

To address this challenge, the National Environment Agency (NEA) appointed consultants Ernst & Young in August to develop requirements for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions by energy-intensive companies to ensure consistency and accuracy.

NEA said it aims to have this by around May next year for consultation with industry.

The Government will also consult the companies on ways to verify the data submitted, similar to practices in other advanced economies. Verification may include independent assessment of the data. No checks are currently in place.

Mr Teo said more accurate data will help companies factor energy efficiency into their decision making at an early stage and reduce energy use and save money.

The Centre for Climate Research Singapore has projected in its Second National Climate Change Study that the average temperatures here may increase by up to 4.6 deg C by the end of this century, and that the sea level could rise by up to a metre if no action is taken.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2016, with the headline 'Helping industry to monitor its emissions'. Print Edition | Subscribe