SINGAPORE: The Government should establish Singapore as a research and development (R&D) hub for alternative energy by investing more resources into research, said the People's Action Party's (PAP) youth wing in a revised position paper on Sunday (Nov 22).
This was among the three recommendations on climate change put forth in a 19-page document by the Young PAP on how Singapore can enhance its efforts in securing a "sustainable future".
The position paper, titled Singapore: A Green Hub, was first made public in March.
The revised paper comes after Young PAP conducted two focus group discussions in September with representatives from 14 relevant business sectors to seek feedback on its proposals to improve Singapore's sustainability landscape.
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INVEST IN R&D EFFORTS
Industry players have said they are limited by the scalability of clean energy solutions, said Young PAP in the revised paper.
"Hence, to meet the carbon zero targets, the Government must invest in R&D efforts to scale alternative energy solutions."
It called on the Government to direct more national resources towards scientific research for alternative energy, such as increasing the talent pool for research and investing in clean energy infrastructure.
A few proposals included institutionalising more corporate, university and government partnerships, as well as deploying supercomputers to support alternative energy research.
PROFESSIONALISING THE SUSTAINABILITY INDUSTRY
According to the revised position paper, there is currently no single global standard for carbon accounting.
Young PAP said Singapore is well-positioned to lead the global carbon documentation and reporting market, as well as provide end-to-end carbon accounting services to the world.
"There is room for Singapore to establish a state-supported set of protocols and accounting standards to document and report the end-to-end carbon emission for all products.
This move could also potentially create job opportunities for Singaporean professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).
It proposed that a task force - led by the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Maritime
Port Authorities - be set up with relevant industry representatives and international organisations to create a nationalised framework for carbon accounting.
ENERGY USAGE DATA-SHARING FRAMEWORK
The paper also recommended an energy usage data-sharing framework.
Industry representatives have called for increased access to environmental, technological or operational data, said Young PAP.
"Data pooling within the industrial sectors will allow businesses to redesign organisational routines and promote greater operational efficiency. This will ultimately reduce wastage, improve efficacy and reduce overall carbon emissions."
This can also lead to a reduction in compliance costs for businesses and market efficiency due to comprehensive information being provided.
CONDUCT FEASIBILITY STUDY OF THE CAP-AND-TRADE MODEL
Young PAP also proposed that the Government conduct a feasibility study of the cap-and-trade model as an alternative to the carbon tax model.
The cap-and-trade model is a system in which organisations and countries are permitted to produce a set amount of carbon dioxide emissions and other atmospheric pollutants, with the provision that those who do not produce their entire allowance may sell their remaining capacity to those who have exceeded their allowed limit.
According to Young PAP, the cap-and-trade model promotes "greater certainty" around reducing carbon emissions and helps governments achieve emissions targets and apply a falling emission caps over time.
It added that countries such as Australia, China and the US have explored some form of the cap-and-trade model.
The paper also included recommendations from previous consultations with sustainability advocates and the public regarding areas of driving behavioural change, as well as multi-stakeholder cooperation on climate resilience and sustainable urban development.