Committee of Supply Debate 2010: Environmental Policies under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
March 9, 2010 by Eugene
Filed under Business and Organisations, Climate Change, Energy and Transportation, Government and Policies, People and Lifestyle, Singapore, Waste and Materials, Water, Air and Land
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and Dr Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, gave their speeches during the Committee of Supply Debate under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) yesterday. The speeches address various environmental policies, including:
- Sustainable Development – Overall Approach to Resource Efficiency and Mitigating Climate Change
- Improving Energy Efficiency
- Singapore’s Vulnerability to Climate Change
- Managing Our Water Resources
- Recycling and Waste Minimisation
- Building Up R&D and Manpower Capabilities in Clean Environment and Water Sectors
- Sustaining Public Cleanliness
- Licensing Elderly Tissue Paper Peddlers
- Enhancements to Food Hygiene Regime
- ABC Waters Programme
Here are some key points that they raised: Read more
Venue: ESI Conference Room, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Block A #10-01, Singapore 119620
Speaker: Dr. Bas Bouman, International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines
The water-energy nexus is an understudied field. To oversimplify the issue, water is needed to produce en-ergy and energy is required to process and move water. Given this reality, there is a positive co-relation be-tween water and energy and thus, by default, between water consumption and greenhouse emissions. Con-sequently, efforts to decrease water consumption globally must be an integral part of the global efforts for mitigating the devastating greenhouse emissions and particularly global warming.
Added to growing consumption of water for personal and industrial purposes, food production is account-ing for major global water requirements. While many varieties of agricultural products of global demand (e.g., wheat and corn) are water-intensive, rice is especially so requiring much larger amount of water dur-ing the course of its production. It is therefore more energy-intensive than many other crops. Against this background, efforts to reduce water consumption for cultivating rice are especially important given the sheer size of the undertaking as the land used globally for such cultivation is about 150 million hectares producing around 600 million tons of rice for global consumption.
Visit the Energy Studies Institute (ESI) website for details and registration.
Source: Energy Studies Institute
This is a chronology of the news and responses on Tuas Power’s clean coal and biomass cogeneration plant.
14 Mar 08 – Tuas Power sold to China Huaneng Group (Temasek successfully completes divestment of Tuas Power by Temasek Holdings)
27 Mar 08 – Tuas Power announced that it is looking at building a $2 billion coal-fired plant (Tuas Power may build $2b coal-fired plant by Business Times)
2 Apr 08 – We think it is highly possible that Tuas Power would take the coal route and expressed our concerns (Red dot goes black? by AsiaIsGreen)
26 Sep 08 – Tuas Power announced plans to build a $2 billion steam and electricity production plant to run on clean coal and biomass on Jurong Island (Tuas Power to build $2b ‘clean’ plant by Straits Times) Read more
Possible Environmental Crises Facing Singapore and Appropriate Responses: The Case of the Poh Ern Shih Buddhist Temple
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room II
Speaker: Mr Lee Boon Siong, Honorary President and Director, Poh Ern Shih Temple
The Poh Ern Shih Temple (Temple of Thanksgiving), built in 1954, is an ecologically friendly Buddhist temple located at Chwee Chian Hill, off Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore. In 2000, the Directors decided that the temple had to be redesigned to deal with the rising costs of water, electricity and an over-dependence on fossil fuel. It was noted that environmental degradation had been increasing over the decades and that adopting ecologically friendly technologies was the way to go in the age of rising global temperatures and climate change.
This seminar will focus on Poh Ern Shih Temple’s efforts to protect the environment. The temple takes advantage of Singapore’s abundant sunlight to produce: (i) Electricity by employing three different kinds of solar energy cells – Polycrystalline, Monocrystalline and Amorphous Cells (ii) Hotwater from Solar Heat Collector Cells in Solar Panels, and (iii) Night Lighting of its landscaping and common corridors with batteries charged by electricity collected from hybrid sets of wind/solar energy units.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s abundant rainfall has made it possible to (i) Irrigate the temple grounds (ii) Generate electricity via the deployment of Micro Hydrogenerators for charging the batteries of in-house motorized wheelchairs and lighting for its landscaping and common corridors as well as (iii) Conserve, collect and convert the rainwater to drinkable water by deploying Reverse Osmosis Techonology in Portable Filtration/UV Units available overseas in the event of natural disasters.
Finally, the temple is able to leverage on the abundance of a renewable resource, bamboo, (i) to reduce the culling of our valuable forests by deploying bamboo for all the temple’s new furniture wherever possible since it is readily available from neighbouring states and is a 5-year renewable resource as compared to a 100 year old or 300 year old oak or teak tree and (ii) to reduce the pollution from the steel industries, by making all its in-house new wheelchairs from bamboo.
For details and registration, visit the ISEAS website.
PURE is a quarterly water-themed lifestyle magazine by PUB. Over the past 3 years, we read it frequently for the water lifestyle stories, water-saving tips, water attractions, and the latest water happenings. The magazine also features several MediaCorp artistes and their thoughts on water. And of course, there’s our favourite Water Wally.
We like PURE for its easy reading and attractive design, and also the fact that it manages to “educate” on water issues and conservation through a fun lifestyle approach, unlike other typical government publications. For its approach, PURE was given an Honourable Mention in the category of Corporate Publications in the Asia Pacific PR Awards 2008.
For the latest issue and onwards, PURE will be published on recycled paper and printed using soy inks. It’s also smaller in size. Get your copy today at selected MRT stations, public libraries and schools. You can also subscribe to the e-copy of PURE by sending an email with your name and date of birth to email@example.com. You can download past issues of PURE here.
We feel that besides PUB’s technology advancements and the multiple awards won over the last five years, PUB has also been great in public awareness and water campaigns. All thanks to the PUB’s all-female communications team. They deserve their winning of the overall Grand Prize in London in the Golden World Awards for Excellence 2008 for their communications programme. And they should serve as an example of how the civil service can and should better communicate their programmes and campaigns.