SINGAPORE: People in Singapore strongly support the use of clean energy to power homes, vehicles and industries, and want "more ambitious climate action", the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) has found.
These were among the findings from a public consultation exercise conducted by the NCCS which focused on Singapore’s long-term low emissions development strategy (LEDS).
The exercise saw about 2,000 submissions from businesses, community groups, and individuals. It was held from Jul 16 to Sep 30 last year, and the findings released on Friday (Feb 7).
Several stakeholder engagement sessions were also organised from August last year to January 2020 to facilitate discussions with youths, green groups, green councils, academics and businesses from a variety of sectors, said NCCS, which is part of the strategy group in the Prime Minister's Office.
In general, the feedback received mirrored the results from a survey also conducted by the NCCS from May to July last year, that more Singaporeans are aware of climate change and are prepared to do more, it said.
When it came to the use of clean energy, respondents indicated "strong support" of its use to power industries, vehicles and homes, said the NCCS. Solar energy was identified as the most viable clean energy source, with suggestions including the offering of incentives and rebates to encourage solar deployment on private and building rooftops.
However, some also noted that issues like intermittency and Singapore's limited land area were "key limiting factors" in furthering deployment.
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There were also mixed responses when it came to the willingness to pay a premium for clean energy, said NCCS in a summary of its findings.
Several respondents pointed out the higher costs of producing cleaner energy would increase the financial burden on lower-income households, while some said that the biggest emitters should bear the most responsibility to switch to renewable energy.
In terms of climate action, some called for emissions to peak well before 2030, reach net-zero by 2050, and to be in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, said NCCS.
However, respondents were also aware of the challenges involved in cutting down on emissions, noted NCCS. "Several noted that the technologies that will enable transformational shifts to a low carbon future are still in their infancy, while others cited economic competitiveness and employment concerns," it said.
But as technologies develop, there remains the possibility to cut Singapore's emissions further.
"We are carefully considering both the calls for climate ambition and the challenges involved in developing and implementing Singapore’s LEDS," said NCCS. "We agree that, as technologies develop or mature, there will be scope for greater reduction of our emissions."
NCCS also said it recognised the concerns voiced by different stakeholders.
"Addressing climate change requires a whole-of-society effort. The Government recognises the concerns from different stakeholders, and the significant effort necessary to transit to a low carbon future," said NCCS.
"The Government will continue to study the suggestions, convene platforms for engagement, and explore partnerships with businesses, the community and individuals to develop solutions to build a resilient and sustainable Singapore."