Singapore to join climate change group for cities

Straits Times 24 Mar 12;

SINGAPORE will join a prestigious international climate group to learn how to reduce its carbon footprint.

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which includes other cities such as Berlin, Hong Kong, London, New York and Tokyo, encourages members to share their best environmental practices.

The Republic's involvement is timely because it was ranked poorly in a recent survey on countries' carbon footprints, although the Government has disputed the ranking.

Last month, researchers from Canada's University of British Columbia ranked Singapore last among 150 countries in terms of ecological health.

The researchers took into account the countries' economies, consumption and waste, and their local resources such as agricultural land and energy.

Earlier this month, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu addressed the study, saying Singapore fared poorly because it is land-scarce and depends on imported resources.

'From the water we drink to the food we consume... we run an 'ecology deficit' to sustain our country,' she said.

As part of the international climate group, the Republic will share its expertise on water management. It will also participate in the group's initiatives and develop case studies.

The C40 - which now has 58 member cities - also works with organisations such as the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and former United States president Bill Clinton's Clinton Climate Initiative.

However, Singapore will be an 'observer city', which means it will not be part of statements issued by the group.

This is because Singapore is also a country, which has different constraints compared to cities, said the National Climate Change Secretariat, which coordinates Singapore's domestic and international policies, plans and actions on climate change.

In 2009, Singapore announced that it would cut carbon emissions by 7 per cent to 11 per cent by 2020 if no global, binding deal was reached, and by 16 per cent if one was.


Singapore in global 'green growth' effort as C40 observer city
Channel NewsAsia 23 Mar 12;

SINGAPORE: Singapore signed on Friday a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) to participate in the international climate action group as an observer city.

The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) said Singapore was invited to join the C40 because of its achievements as a global city with a proven record in achieving economic growth and environment sustainability.

C40 has also expressed interest in Singapore's experience in areas such as land transport and water management.

Singapore will only participate as an observer because of its unique circumstances as a city-state and will not be party to communiqu├ęs issued by the C40 group.

Both sides will work together to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and support measures to avoid the harmful impacts of climate change.

These will include Singapore's participation in C40 initiatives, as well as the development of case studies to share knowledge with other cities.

Singapore is interested in learning from the best practices of C40 cities, in areas such as developing low carbon strategies and deploying solutions to reduce emissions.

The C40 has 58 cities, such as Berlin, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, London, New York, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Tokyo.

It collaborates on climate change-related initiatives with organisations such as the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Clinton Climate Initiative.

- CNA/wm