Singapore : Pact signing to cut back on building emissions

Aerial_View_of_Singapore

Singapore was one among 18 countries which had signed a pact with the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction in COP21 – Paris to speed up efforts to cut emissions in the buildings and construction sector, which accounts for nearly a third of mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Countries such as Indonesia, the United States, Germany, Japan, and Sweden were also present during the conference. Around 60 organizations, NGOs, financing institution, and industry bodies such as the International Union of Architects (which represents about 1,3 million worldwide architects) and the World Green Building Council plan to cut back greenhouse gas emissions with steps such as applying more energy efficient lighting, better window insulation and smarter air conditioning controls.

Buildings and cities are noticed as crucial areas to cut emissions as urban areas grow, especially in Asia. Reducing energy in buildings is one of the most cost-effective way to cut the large amounts of greenhouse gases.

According to Mr. Ang Kian Seng from Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority, through the alliance, Singapore would be able to share its expertise (particularly through Singapore’s annual green buildings conference) and invite some of the alliance members to share experiences, report progress and discuss matters on the improvement of energy efficiency within the sector. He added by saying that the alliance could also open up business opportunities for Singapore firms involved in designing, building and fitting out green buildings.

However, large amounts of financing are needed to invest in building new green buildings or retrofitting older ones. An additional US$220 billion (S$310 billion) is required by 2020 – which is almost a 50 per cent increase on 2014’s investment in energy efficient buildings. To combat the financial gap, measures including carbon markets, green bonds and other financing initiatives may be implemented.

 

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