Shrinking its carbon footprint

THE island republic is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to shrink its carbon footprint, which includes looking into the possibility of deploying nuclear energy here, as well as importing clean energy, chief climate negotiator Joseph Teo said.

“One of the projects that’s being worked on now is building a pipeline from Australia to Singapore, so we can import green electricity from Australia,” Teo said, during a panel discussion on climate change organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS).

“The project is transboundary, and there is the consideration of whether importing energy would overwhelm our own national grid. Should we also rely so much on one source of energy? So these are considerations that agencies are looking at,” he added.

Australian firm Sun Cable’s A$30bil (RM95.8bil) Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink) project aims to connect Singapore via a 4,200km sub-sea cable to a solar farm in Darwin.

The project is expected to begin construction in late 2023, with the first supply of electricity to Darwin expected in 2026 and Singapore in 2027, with full supply capacity reached by end-2028.The main causes of climate change are the burning of fossil fuels for energy and deforestation. Singapore now relies mainly on natural gas, a kind of fossil fuel, for its energy needs.

But as the country’s long-term goal is to have the amount of planet-warming emissions it releases dwindle to net-zero by or around mid-century, Singapore is now looking at ways to decarbonise its power sector.

Asked about Singapore’s stance on nuclear energy as a source of energy to replace fossil fuels, Teo said that a recent report commissioned by the Energy Market Authority identified nuclear as a potential source of energy for the country by 2050.

“As a small city state, our primary concern is that of the safety of nuclear technology before it is deployed here,” he said.

At the event, NUS conservation scientist Prof Koh Lian Pin Prof Koh highlighted the importance of nature-based climate solutions in tackling climate change.Such solutions refer to efforts to protect natural habitats, reforest degraded areas, and improved management of activities that would require land conversion, such as agriculture, he said. — The Straits Times/ANN

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