Tuesday, April 28, 2009

$1b to green Singapore

THE Government on Monday unveiled a sweeping $1 billion blueprint for Singapore's sustainable development over the next 20 years, which covers broad areas from the way Singaporeans live to the way businesses will run.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee for Sustainable Development (IMCSD), set up in January last year, announced its findings and detailed goals for the next 10 to 20 years.

80% green buildings by 2030
IT IS a paltry 1 per cent today, but come 2030, 80 per cent of all of Singapore's buildings will be green.

To achieve this, property developers will be given free gross floor area if their new buildings achieve high Green Mark standards, and the Government has set aside a $600 million fund to green existing public and private buildings.

Goals and initiatives to green S'pore
- 80 per cent of Singapore's buildings will be green by 2030
- 35 per cent reduction in energy intensity, energy use per dollar GDP, by 2030 from 2005 levels
- Reduce water consumption from 156 litres per person per day to 140 litres
- Raise overall recycling rate from 56 per cent currently to 70 per cent
- Increase share of public transport use to 70 per cent of all journeys
- Improve air quality
- Achieve 0.8 ha of green space per 1,000 persons by 2030 and increase skyrise greenery
- Increase blue space by opening up 900 ha of reservoirs and 100km of waterways for recreational activities.
- Increase accessibility and convenience for pedestrians and cyclists by expanding covered linkways and cycling networks
- Build Singapore into an international knowledge hub in sustainable development solutions.

Speaking at a media conference, Minister for National Development and co-Chair of the IMCSD Mah Bow Tan said: 'Sustainable development can only be achieved through long-term attention and effort. We must act now.

'As individuals, we must be prepared to change the way we live, work, play and commute. As a nation, we have to invest to develop new technologies and alternative sources of energy.'

Noting that the economic situation has changed dramatically since the committee was set up, Mr Tan said: 'The temptation is to slow down our efforts in the area of sustainable development while we tackle the immediate economic challenges. However, the two are not mutually exclusive.'

Singapore will also continue to invest in the clean technology industry that will help green urban cities. This will contribute some $3.4 billion to Singapore's GDP and create 18,000 jobs by 2015.

The other IMCSD co-chair, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said that the concrete targets set out in the blueprint 'reflects how serious we are about sustainable development.'

'These targets will be reviewed regularly, as technology improves and the cost-effectiveness of measures changes,' he added.

Dr Yaacob also emphasised the role that all Singaporeans must play and how this could have a global impact, noting that that 'achieving our goals will require a whole-of-nation effort.'

Over the past year, members of the public and leaders of non-governmental organisations, businesses, grassroots organisations, academia, and media have contributed to the blueprint. More than 700 people gave their views through various focus group discussions, and members of the public submitted over 1,300 suggestions.

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