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PM Lee: Singapore will join the fight against climate change

October 28, 2014

In a Business Times article by Claire Huang, PM Lee was reported saying that in the context of the UNFCCC negotiations on climate change, “Singapore will support such efforts, even though the agreement will hit the Republic’s petroleum industry”.

PM Lee was speaking when he conferred Royal Dutch Shell the inaugural Honorary Partner-in-Progress Award at the Istana on 9 October 2014.

Power generation and the petrochemicals industry are major sources of emissions for the island city-state of Singapore. With limited capacity to tap on alternative energy resources due to high amounts of cloud cover and dispersed irradiation as well as a general lack of recourse in other renewables such as wind, tidal and hydropower, Singapore relies heavily on imported fossil fuel to power our nation.

Singapore is also one of the world’s leading energy and chemical industry hubs, both in terms of output and research. The Economic Development Board of Singapore reports that in 2010, the chemicals and chemical products sector contributed S$38 billion of the manufacturing output, a significant rise from S$28 billion in 2009. Singapore’s position as a global chemicals hub has grown in tandem with the extensive development of Jurong Island — an integrated complex housing many of the world’s leading energy and chemical companies, among them BASF, ExxonMobil, Lanxess, Mitsui Chemicals, Shell and Sumitomo Chemicals. Presently, Jurong Island has successfully attracted investments in excess of S$35 billion.

To learn more about the development of the Petrochemical industry in Singapore, a MAS Occassional Paper was published in June 1999. The paper can be accessed here.

Jurong Island

Jurong Island Photo (Source: Economic Development Board, Singapore)

Some of you may be aware that PM Lee has been involved in the climate change negotiations process for some time now, dating as far back as 2007 when he attended and delivered Singapore’s national statement at the Bali COP. In 2009, the ECO Singapore Youth Delegation met up with him in Copenhagen. The two videos below capture some of the questions we asked then, many of them are still relevant today. Enjoy!

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