Exclusive: Inside Singapore’s strategy for battling climate change

Source(s)
GovInsider

By Yun Xuan Poon

Interview with Tan Kok Yam, Deputy Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

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Island states like Singapore could be feeling the acute impact of climate change not that far into the future. In the worst case scenario, sea levels in Singapore could rise by more than 2.5 metres by 2100, according to the Chair of Nanyang Technological University’s Asian School of the Environment.

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But the country is serious about making sure it won’t become the next underwater city. It recently announced that it will halve its peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – a target that has been called “an ambitious aspiration” by Tan Kok Yam, Deputy Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government) of the Prime Minister’s Office. He shared with GovInsider how Singapore is preparing for the worst, and using innovation to battle climate change.

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Technological innovations are key to meeting Singapore’s emissions targets, says Tan, given the country’s lack of access to renewable energy. Singapore’s lack of land means that it can’t afford “traditional models” of large solar or wind farms, explains Tan. Singapore has used emerging tech to optimise energy use, encourage the uptake of greener energy sources, and reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.

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Across the nation, Singapore has built a Smart Nation Sensor Platform to reduce energy wastage. This will make “our city planning and operations more responsive to the environment– turning off street lights when the ambient light is high, and planning our spaces better with environmental data, to reduce urban heat,” Tan adds.

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