Greenpeace’s Unfriend Coal campaign wants Facebook to:
- Increase the use of clean energy to make Facebook coal free
- Develop a plan to make Facebook coal free by 2021
- Educate users about how Facebook powers its services and its carbon footprint
- Advocate for clean energy at a local, national and international level
Facebook announced last year that it is building a new energy efficient data centre to serve the hundreds of millions of its users, but the company plans to run it on electricity from burning coal, which is the most carbon intensive fossil fuel and also very pollutive. Greenpeace believes that Facebook can move away from coal and switch to clean energy, and influence the rest of the IT sector to do likewise. Read more
Waste is not Waste Provides Online Waste Exchange for Businesses and Organisations in Singapore and Malaysia
Waste generation in Asia has been increasing rapidly due to urbanisation and industrialisation, and poor waste management in several countries has caused negative impacts on the environment and the health of the people. According to The Global Development Research Center, the waste in Asia is disposed of by 51% open dumping, 31% landfilling, 9% recycling, 5% incineration and 2% open burning. It is clear that more work has to be done to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in Asia.
We believe that waste is not waste, but a potential resource for someone to use again. To tackle the waste problem, we wish to contribute by focusing on ending industrial and commercial waste from businesses and organisations in Asia, starting from Singapore and Malaysia.
There is much scope for businesses and organisations in Asia to reduce and recycle their waste. Waste is usually the last thing on their mind and is something to be thrown away without much thought. With increasing awareness on environmental issues, businesses and organisations are facing pressure from their customers and along the supply chain. They are starting to look at the waste they generate and trying to recycle as much as possible.
By reducing their waste, businesses and organisations also hope to cut costs and be more efficient. However there are some barriers such as lack of time and information to find out the types of waste that can be recycled, and to search for suitable collectors and recycling companies.
Our new initiative, Waste is not Waste, hopes to remove the barriers by providing an online waste exchange that is easy and convenient for businesses and organisations to use, and which helps them reduce, reuse and recycle waste. We connect businesses and organisations that generate waste materials with those who want the materials, thus helping both parties save time and money while helping the environment.
The Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) organised a lunchtime seminar at Thomson Reuters yesterday, where The World Bank presented its flagship study report, Winds of Change – East Asia’s Sustainable Energy Future. Dr Wang Xiaodong, Senior Energy Specialist, East Asia & Pacific (EAP) region of the World Bank, gave a summary of the report findings, which incorporates the lessons learned from the World Bank in advocating policies and programs for clean energy investments in East Asia and Pacific countries.
The study covers six countries – China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, and has the following key messages:
… large-scale deployment of energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies can simultaneously stabilize East Asia’s CO2 emissions by 2025 and significantly improve the local environment and enhance energy security, without compromising economic growth.
… accelerating the speed and scaling up the efforts are needed to get onto a sustainable energy path. The window of opportunity is closing fast, because delaying action would lock the region into a long-lasting high-carbon infrastructure.
This shift to a clean energy revolution requires major domestic policy and institutional reforms. Governments can adopt climate smart domestic policies now to deploy existing low-carbon technologies while a global climate deal is negotiated … To fully realize the huge energy efficiency potentials in the region requires the removal of fossil-fuel subsidies and incorporation of environmental externalities into energy pricing as well as a concerted strategy to tackle market failures and barriers with effective regulations, financial incentives, institutional reforms, and financing mechanisms.
Developed countries need to transfer substantial financing and low-carbon technologies. To achieve this sustainable energy path, a major hurdle is to mobilize financing for the net additional investment of $80 billion per year over the next two decades. It is estimated that approximately $25 billion per year would be required as concessional financing to cover the incremental costs and risks of energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, substantial grants are also needed to build capacity of local stakeholders. The technical and policy means exist for such transformations, but only strong political will and unprecedented international cooperation will make them happen.
Source and image credit: Winds of Change – East Asia’s Sustainable Energy Future by The World Bank
Speakers: Vijay Jagannathan, Sector Manager (Infrastructure), East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region of the World Bank; Wang Xiaodong, Senior Energy Specialist, East Asia & Pacific (EAP) region of the World Bank
Venue: Seminar Room 3-5, Level 3, Manasseh Meyer, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 469C Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259772
Synopsis: According to a recent estimate by the US Energy Information administration, Asia accounts for 40 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. And as major Asian economies are now growing at more than four times the pace of OECD country economies, Asia has become the primary region of global engagement in the pursuit of a low-carbon strategy.
Winds of Change – East Asia’s Sustainable Energy Future, the World Bank’s East Asia Energy Flagship Study, incorporates the lessons learned from the World Bank’s 17-year engagement in advocating policies and programs aimed at promoting cleaner energy investments in East Asia and Pacific countries.
This report, which will be disseminated in April 2010, demonstrates that a low-carbon growth path is possible for large Asian economies through policies focused on energy-efficiency improvements and innovations in renewable energy technologies. A low-carbon path is both technically and economically viable for the region, and if the right decisions are made, coal’s share in power generation could be halved to 37 percent by 2030.
The report concludes that about US$85 billion a year of additional financing will be required to achieve these ambitious goals. The authors of the study, Dr. Vijay Jagannathan and Dr. Xiadong Wang, will be launching the report and presenting their findings in Singapore on April 19, 2010.
Visit the LKYSPP website for details and registration.
LOHAS Asia is pleased to announce that it is formally linking up with the Kranji Countryside Association to designate the entire Kranji Countryside a “LOHAS Region”, to promote healthy & sustainable living practices in Asia.
LOHAS stands for “Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability”, a consumer-lead movement originated in the USA in the late 1990’s. LOHAS Asia has been formed to provide a platform for businesses and consumers alike in Asia who wish to promote LOHAS as the way forward for living in Asia today.
Adam Horler, President of LOHAS Asia, remarking on this announcement said:
“LOHAS promotes consciously for the individual and corporate customer. We can buy products and services that pay no regard to the environment or we can seek out products and companies that consider their environmental impact in all they do to bring products to market.
Individual consumers are the most powerful economic force in the world, far more powerful than corporations or even governments. If we choose to support Earth-friendly companies, we can save the planet, far faster than passively waiting for legislation to force companies to change. For instance, if we choose to buy organic and locally-produced foods for health reasons, we are also supporting sustainable agriculture and buying produce that has not had to be transported miles to get to our plates.
The Kranji Countryside Association does great work in Singapore already promoting local, healthy and environmentally-sensitive production of food for the local market. We hope that by naming the area a LOHAS Region we will be able to attract even more awareness and support to this jewel that exists in Singapore.
We shall be establishing our Asian HQ in Kranji, and hope to create a LOHAS Centre to showcase the region’s products and a better way of living for all Singaporeans, giving them the chance to become Lohasian consumers and save the planet, one purchase at a time.”
Mrs Ivy Singh-Lim, President of the Kranji Countryside Association, commented:
“The Kranji Countryside Association is ecstatic with this link-up with LOHAS as it is the most appropriate platform to further strengthen our vision. We are encouraging people to be aware of nature in the quest for human progress. There is an urgent need to be aware that the impact of the carelessness of our behavior can destroy our very existence on this earth.
As such all of us farmers are 100% behind LOHAS Asia and look forward to the great changes we can make together.”