Features

Singapore top carbon emitter in Asia-Pacific

March 06, 2012

Vehicles plying along central expressway in Singapore. – AFP picVehicles plying along central expressway in Singapore. – AFP picSINGAPORE, March 6 – Affluent Singapore had the largest carbon footprint per head in the Asia-Pacific in 2010, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said yesterday.

The environmental advocacy group said Singapore’s 2010 per capita gross domestic product of more than US$40,000 – one of the highest in the region – fuelled exorbitant consumption habits.

But the group also fingered the corporate sector and in particular the construction industry for crowning the tiny city-state as the region’s top per capita carbon emitter.

Precise figures for various nations in the Asia-Pacific will be released together with the WWF’s Asia Footprint Report in June.

But WWF president Yolanda Kakabadse revealed yesterday that Singapore topped the list.

“Every member of the population in relation to the size of the country is consuming a lot in food, in energy,” she said.

“Singapore... is a society that maybe is one of the best examples of what we should not do.”

Singapore emitted 43,454 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide from combustion of fossil fuels in 2010, official statistics showed.

But Kakabadse said it could atone for its excessive carbon footprint by sharing its energy-efficient technologies with the world.

“It has a tremendous capacity to contribute with technology. Technology for energy, technology for water management, technology for whatever, even for food production that would make it more sensible,” she said.

WWF spokesman Chris Chaplin said business and industry were responsible for contributing to the high carbon footprint.

“The building sector in Singapore is responsible for 15 per cent of the nation’s footprint... If you consider the amount of construction going on, it’s a substantial number,” he said.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency has said the city-state is dependent on fossil fuels because its small size limits its ability to switch to alternative sources. – AFP

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