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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 12th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Singapore Pares Emission Cut Plans After Copenhagen.

Reuters,  12-Jan-10.
Author: Nopporn Wong-Anan

SINGAPORE – Singapore said on Monday it will go ahead with existing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but further pledged reductions will depend on a successful agreement in global climate talks.

Environment Minister Yaacob Ibrahim told parliament Singapore would start implementing energy efficiency measures announced last year that would cut emissions by 7-11 percent on business as usual levels by 2020.

This would be below a 16 percent cut that Singapore pledged just ahead of U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen last month, which aimed to agree on a global pact but instead ended with a non-binding accord far short of its original goals.

“When a global agreement on climate change is reached we will implement the additional measures to achieve the full 16 percent reduction below business as usual in 2020,” he said.

Environmentalists said they hoped countries would not lower voluntary targets to cut back emissions given the absence of a global accord, which negotiators are still aiming to reach in another round of talks scheduled for November 2010 in Mexico.

“We find it disappointing that countries are going to step back and lower their ambition,” WWF project coordinator Diane McFadzien told Reuters.

“I haven’t seen evidence of it becoming a trend yet, but I hope it will not become a trend.”

Wealthy city-state Singapore, with one of the world’s best living standards in terms of GDP per capita, has come under fire from environmentalists who point to its energy-intensive economy and high per-capita emissions.

Singapore aims to spur economic growth by increasing its population and attracting further manufacturing investment, which will make cutting absolute emissions difficult, a problem faced by many developing nations unwilling to sign up to legally binding cuts.

As part of the Copenhagen accord, developing nations need to put their voluntary national pledges on a global list by the end of January.

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