Date Published: 16 Mar 2010
Your Excellency, Mr Paul Madden
British High Commissioner to Singapore
Mr Vijay Iyengar
Vice Chairman, Singapore Business Federation
Mr David St Maur Sheil
Joint Executive Director
Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am pleased to join you this morning at the Carbon Disclosure
Forum 2010, jointly organised by the Singapore Business Federation, the
for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia, and the Singapore
Compact for Corporate Social Responsibility.
Collective Efforts to Address
2 Over the past few years, climate change has generated
much heat, both figuratively and in reality. Human activities such as
the burning of
fossil fuels for energy use are contributing to the rise in global
greenhouse gas emissions. To address the challenges brought about by
collective efforts by all will be necessary. Companies need to play
their part, and there will also be demands from governments, consumers
that companies manage their energy consumption and greenhouse gas
emissions, and make appropriate disclosure of such information.
Response to Climate Change
3 Singapore is fully committed to the international
effort to address climate change. We have associated ourselves with the
which provides a basis for further negotiations towards a legally-binding
global framework on climate change. Singapore has also committed to
a target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 16% from the 2020
Business-As-Usual scenario, provided that a global agreement is reached
and other countries implement their targets. This commitment is significant,
given the efforts we have already taken to reduce our emissions and
the unique constraints of a city-state like Singapore where there is limited
access to renewable energy.
4 Achieving the 16% target will require changes in lifestyle and business
practices. The Government is engaging our companies to bring about
lower greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector, mainly through
increased adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices.
technologies and practices are already available. By becoming more energy-efficient,
companies not only lower their greenhouse gas emissions,
they also become more competitive in the global economy, and can better
meet investor expectations on corporate social responsibility.
Incentives for Energy Efficiency
5 There is significant potential for manufacturing,
our largest energy consuming sector, to save energy and reduce costs by
investing in energy
efficiency. The Singapore Government has already put in place several
schemes to help companies adopt energy efficient technologies and practices.
These include the Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies or GREET, which
helps to co-fund up to 50% of the qualifying costs for energy efficient
equipment and technologies, the CDM Documentation Grant, which helps
to co-fund the costs of hiring carbon consultants to develop greenhouse
gas emission reduction projects that can earn carbon credits under the
UNFCCC's Clean Development Mechanism, and the Energy Efficiency
Improvement Assistance Scheme or EASe scheme, which helps to co-fund
energy audits for buildings and facilities to identify potential energy
6 Looking ahead, the Government plans to do even more to
encourage our companies to become leaders in energy efficiency. We will
robust measures to spur industries in Singapore to be leaders in
7 Based on the experience of other countries, the implementation
of energy management programmes is one of the most cost-effective
energy efficiency. Case studies from overseas have indicated that
companies can reduce their energy consumption by 10 to 15% through
Our observation of companies in Singapore is that while some have
adopted energy management practices, the extent of measures implemented
widely from one company to another. By setting minimum standards,
we hope to propagate best practices for all companies, and sustain
interest in managing their energy needs on a day-to-day basis.
8 In particular, we will be working towards getting companies that
are large energy consumers to appoint trained energy managers, monitor
report energy use, and submit energy efficiency improvement plans.
My advice to companies is to start preparing themselves early as it would
eventually be in their interest and benefit to do so.
9 To smoothen the process, the National Environment Agency is also preparing
to launch the Energy Efficiency National Partnership or EENP in April
to help companies build up the necessary capabilities to attain higher
levels of energy efficiency. This programme is voluntary and aims to
help companies improve their energy efficiency by putting in place energy
efficiency programmes and fostering a culture of sustained energy efficiency
10 Through working with the various industry stakeholders in the coming
years, we hope that by 2013 -- the year we target to bring in the Energy
Conservation Act -- companies would already have the necessary processes
in place to meet the regulatory requirements on energy efficiency.
11 Climate change is a challenge that we must address together.
As investors and consumers become more aware of the impacts of climate
change on their
personal and corporate lives, they will seek more information about how
companies are mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the
business risks associated with climate change. It is therefore important
for companies to understand how climate change will affect them and their
operations, and how they can play a part in the global effort to deal
with this phenomenon that deeply affects us all. Through such planned
and disciplined actions, our companies will become more environmentally
sustainable and economically competitive.
12 I am confident that the participants of today's Forum will learn
much from each other. I wish you all a fruitful day ahead.