Sustainability: comparing India and Singapore
By Lee Kah Whye Singapore, April 26 (ANI): Last week, during an event to coincide with Earth Day (April 22), US President Joe Biden hosted a climate conference with other leaders global leaders, urging them to cooperate in the global effort to tackle the climate crisis.
At the Climate Leaders’ Summit, he pledged his country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, doubling the target he had set under of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The leaders of countries like Brazil, Canada, India, Japan and the UK have made new pledges or reaffirmed previous pledges to help save the planet from environmental disaster.
Prior to the conference, the UK had already announced its own plans to cut carbon emissions by 78 percent from 1990 levels by 2035. This advances the previous 15-year target.
The Prime Ministers of Japan and Canada also pledged to significantly increase their previous commitments to reduce carbon emissions and aim for net zero emissions by 2050. Japan is the fifth largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world and Canada the eleventh.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in a change from his previous stance, has pledged to end illegal deforestation in the country by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050. In addition, he has asked the United States to help fund Amazon rainforest conservation efforts to the tune of $ 1 billion.
Although he did not commit India to a new target, Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed the country’s wish to install 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, five times the current capacity and two and a half times his engagement from Paris.
Although Singapore, a small island state, is an insignificant polluter globally, it was one of 40 countries invited to the US summit. It is the leading Asian country on the World Economic Forum (WEF) latest Energy Transition Index (ETI) which measures progress towards a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure energy system. He was ranked 21st globally.
Singapore plans to quadruple solar power production by 2025, as well as opening one of the world’s largest floating solar power systems, which will offset 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
In February this year, five Singaporean ministries jointly released a plan titled “ Singapore’s Green Plan 2030, ” which charts the island nation’s path to a more sustainable future over the next decade.
“The comprehensive plan will strengthen Singapore’s economic, climatic and resource resilience, improve the lives of Singaporeans and provide new business and employment opportunities,” the five ministries said in a joint statement.
As part of the green plan, building sustainability standards will be raised with support for the development of environmentally friendly buildings that incorporate cost-effective green technologies that promote energy efficiency.
To promote green travel, the city’s rail network will be extended by more than 50% to 360 km. The aim is to reduce the use of personal cars in favor of public transport. The cycle paths will be tripled in length.
Singapore, which is already widely regarded as a green city, will have more vegetation planted along the streets and natural parks will be increased by more than 50 percent by 2030. The green expansion plan will reduce ambient temperatures in the city.
The fossil fuel industry is an important part of Singapore’s economy as it is a major center for oil refining and a major center for LNG (liquefied natural gas) globally. Despite this, it aims to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Research is underway to help Singapore exploit low-carbon alternatives like using hydrogen as a fuel. Programs will be put in place to help Singaporean companies develop their clean energy capabilities. The island will also be transformed into a sustainable tourist destination.
From 2030, only gasoline-electric hybrid and electric vehicles can be sold in Singapore and by 2040 almost all vehicles on the road will be “green”.
Already, plans are in place to install more than 60,000 EV (electric vehicle) charging points across the island by 2030, compared to less than 500 charging points today. Import duties and road tax for electric vehicles have also been reduced to encourage their use.
In the aforementioned WEF Energy Transition Index (ETI), which covers 115 countries, India was ranked 87th. The ETI assesses the performance of each country’s energy systems across three dimensions – economic development and growth, environmental sustainability, and energy security and access indicators – and their readiness for the transition to secure, sustainable, affordable and inclusive.
In the report, India was praised for targeting “improvements through subsidy reforms and a rapid increase in energy access, with strong political commitment and a regulatory environment for energy transition” .
Instead of just targeting environmental and climate sustainability, India implemented a comprehensive plan covering 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets in 2015, which came into effect in January 2016.
This is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the 193 Member States at the United Nations General Assembly summit, which aims to build a more prosperous, more equal and more secure world by 2030.
The SDGs include various areas such as poverty, hunger, health and well-being, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy action, sustainable cities and communities. , sustainable consumption and production, to name a few.
India has not made a commitment to meet a net zero emissions target. Instead, it has delivered on its Paris Agreement promise to reduce its carbon emissions by 33-35% from its 2005 levels by 2030 and aims to surpass those targets.
With around 65% of India still living in rural areas, India is still in the process of industrialization and its energy needs are quite different from those of the United States, China, Russia or Japan, the countries which are closest to it in terms. carbon emissions.
To put it in perspective, although India generates around 70% of its energy needs from coal, India’s per capita emissions are one-eighth that of the United States and less than one-third of that of the United States. China.
“The scale of the transition is going to be huge for India, and there is a risk that by trying to reach net zero by 2050, we will end up limiting the energy needs of the poor,” Navroz K Dubash , a professor at the Center for Policy Research, was quoted by Reuters. (ANI)