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  Today Online 10 Nov 07
Singapore could lead by example, reducing carbon
Lin Yanqin

Straits Times 10 Nov 07
The right climate for global warming talks
The head of this year's Nobel Peace Prize-winning climate change panel is upbeat about Bali meeting next month
By P. Jayaram

Channel NewsAsia 9 Nov 07

Singapore can set example for ASEAN on energy use: IEA

SINGAPORE: Singapore can set an example for the rest of ASEAN when it comes to the use of energy, said William Ramsay, the deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

According to IEA, the Energy Studies Institute at the National University of Singapore could look into areas such as analysing the use of energy by studying energy policy, security and its impact on the environment.

Mr Ramsay said the work would show how ASEAN and in particular, Singapore, can contribute to how energy is being used.

"Singapore, at the centre of ASEAN, could begin making significant changes by doing things differently," he said.

The deputy executive director of IEA is in Singapore to discuss the agency's latest report on energy use.

The report highlights a fact that countries around the equator, like Singapore, would be among the first to suffer from the effects of polluting the planet.

Mr Ramsay said: "Places like China and India and countries not far from the equator know they are going to be the first victims of this. They know they are going to suffer the weather irregularities, they are going to suffer the extreme rains or the extreme droughts; they know they are going to suffer migration of diseases. So intellectually and at the senior policy levels in those countries, we see recognition. The question is how well they can translate that into action."

For the first time, the report concentrates on the two economic giants, China and India.

For China, it says if the country adopts the policies that are being planned, China could cut its energy use by about 15 percent by 2030.

And for India, the country could lower its coal imports by more than half by 2030. - CNA/so

Today Online 10 Nov 07
Singapore could lead by example, reducing carbon
Lin Yanqin

THE world will need 50 per cent more energy in 30 years' time if countries do not implement policies to use resources in a sustainable way, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) said in its annual World Energy Outlook presented here on Friday.

Nearly half of the increase in energy demand will come from China and India the two most-populated countries in the world and whose economies are expected to continue to grow rapidly, the Paris-based IEA said.

China, said IEA deputy executive director William Ramsay, is expected to overtake the United States as the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide this year, while India is predicted to become the world's third-largest emitter by 2015.

Even if countries adopted all the sustainable energy policies being discussed today, global carbon dioxide emissions will still exceed current levels by one quarter in 2030, he said.

Governments can help alleviate this worrying trend by investing more to develop renewable energy and pushing for greater energy efficiency.

Stressing the need to educate consumers that their daily actions can make a difference to climate change, Mr Ramsay said: "You need to induce citizens to understand that all the little things like switching off your lights when you leave, taking the bus instead of the car these things are important."

He said that countries like China would need to enforce more "punitive" measures, such as charges on cars entering congested zones in cities. Small countries like Singapore, he said, could lead by example, even if the reductions in energy use and carbon dioxide emissions would not be significant on a global scale.

The projected increase in global energy demand will also mean greater reliance on oil and gas producing countries, leading to concerns over energy security, especially in the Middle East where supply routes are vulnerable, the IEA said.

The report did not rule out a supply shock by 2015 leading to an abrupt escalation in oil prices, but Mr Ramsay felt that such an increase in prices would then curb demand and level out the crunch.

A "tremendous" amount of money is also needed to invest in infrastructure to ensure reliable energy supply, he said.

"That's what's lacking today, and we are troubled by that."

More oil would be needed just to stay where we are, said Mr Ramsay. "This is to replace the decline in existing fields."

Straits Times 10 Nov 07
The right climate for global warming talks
The head of this year's Nobel Peace Prize-winning climate change panel is upbeat about Bali meeting next month
By P. Jayaram

NEW DELHI - DR RAJENDRA Kumar Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is confident that the upcoming Bali convention on climate change would produce a 'degree of success'.

'What is encouraging about the current situation is the high level of awareness that something needs to be done,' he told The Straits Times in a recent interview after IPCC was declared joint winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice-president Al Gore.

Some 180 countries are expected to participate in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held on the Indonesian resort island next month.

Dr Pachauri said there had been a distinct shift even in the pronouncements of the United States, which over the last six years had been opposed to legally binding caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

'My view is that there really couldn't be a better set of conditions to ensure some degree of success.'

He said that the purpose of the convention was to explore 'how there might be compromises that could be structured on the basis of the views of different countries'.

Dr Pachauri also said that Asean could take collective steps to deal with natural disasters that have affected the region, achieving more through closer cooperation.

'Asean could do a lot collectively because I believe that you can coordinate your action with your policies across countries. To that extent the policies will be much stronger. There may be some actions that are best taken by a group of countries than a single country.'

However, with regard to Indonesia's problems of deforestation, floods and forest fires, he said these should be largely handled by that country itself, with 'technical assistance' from other nations in the region.

He referred to the potential impact of climate change on rising sea levels, highlighted in the three reports issued by IPCC this year, and called for immediate risk assessment.

'What we really need to do is a risk assessment, location by location, on how sea-level rise is going to threaten both life and property' and come up with measures to deal with this.

He suggested that some areas might have to be evacuated, while in other areas, it would be helpful to have protective infrastructure or zoning restrictions in terms of where houses could be built.

'Those kinds of regulations may have to be revived,' he said and emphasised that such regulations would have to be created if they did not already exist.

He cautioned: 'The earlier the better, because if we delay these actions...the cost of all these adaptation measures will go up.'

The Nobel Prize for IPCC, he said, had 'elevated' climate change to 'a new level' and would act as 'an incentive for people to get involved in research on climate change'.

He added that it would also inspire a whole lot of young people to pursue careers dealing with research on climate change.

'That would enrich our knowledge and the contents of this so-called profession.'

On criticisms that the IPPC is prone to making summary conclusions that are poorly supported by analytical work, Dr Pachauri said: 'We take pride in the process we follow, which is totally transparent, which is peer-reviewed at every stage, and we only use material that has been published and peer reviewed in learned journals.

'The IPCC does not invent any research on its own. We stand by the high quality of our reports and we certainly stand by the objectivity of the way we put the reports together.'

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