June 19, 2019
Latest News

How Singapore turned into global lab for environmental sustainability

 A view of the Singapore Flyer with the financial district in the background before the start of Earth Hour 2010 in Singapore, Mar.27, 2009. EPA-EFE/FILE/STEPHEN MORRISON

A view of the Singapore Flyer with the financial district in the background before the start of Earth Hour 2010 in Singapore, Mar.27, 2009. EPA-EFE/FILE/STEPHEN MORRISON

By Amaya Quincoces Riesco

Singapore, Jun 7 (efe-epa).- With its innovative green development projects, Singapore, a tiny nation of just 5.5 million people, is inspiring many countries to emulate its environmental sustainability model.

Far from being just associated with its modern skyscrapers, the island nation has now become an extensive laboratory in green city planning and is attracting many foreign companies, seeking to address environmental challenges in the face of the alarming climate crisis.

Against this backdrop, the country was chosen to host the global Innovate4Climate conference concluded on Friday.

The key conference on environmental sustainability was jointly organized by the World Bank and the relevant departments of the governments of Singapore, Spain and Germany.

Big players involved in the fight against climate change, including various Spanish companies active in Asia, attended the meeting.

Around a dozen of these companies, from areas as diverse as finance, energy, consultancy, environmental certification and verification, urban waste management and tire recycling, on Friday met officials of the Spanish government at the Spanish embassy in Singapore to discuss business opportunities related to sustainability in Asia.

Around 140 Spanish companies operate in Singapore, although some of them just have offices to manage their business in the entire Southeast Asia.

Until half a century ago, the tiny nation was mostly unsustainable territory similar to other developing countries in the region with a combined population of more than 600 million.

But in a very short span of time it progressed exponentially and can now be described as highly developed country with deep commitments to safeguard environment.

The city-state's environmental commitment can be attributed to its small size and its policy of reclaiming land from sea, which forces it to pay attention to sustainability.

However, representatives of the Spanish companies gathered at the Embassy told EFE that there was still a long way to go despite Singapore's significant advances.

The business representatives added that European and Spanish companies could play an important role in the country because they were highly regarded in the region.

Patri Tarek Kheireddine Dorronsoro, a representative of the Spanish architecture and engineering consultancy Idom, told EFE that the technology in the "intelligent cities" of Singapore was very cutting-edge, and the island was one of the most architecturally advanced countries in Asia.

Other companies, including BBVA, Naturgy and Aenor highlighted their products and executives of Cepsa discussed their new completely sustainable factory in Indonesia which produces vegetable oil-based cosmetics.

Tire recycling company Life for Tires - with businesses in four continents - discussed its latest technology.

Pablo Viejo, the director of Pitgem - a small technology company - discussed its pest-control technology, dealing with one of the problems which have grown along with climate change.

Since its independence from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore has become an economic benchmark for Southeast Asia both from the technological and financial perspectives.

“The new generations of green bond funds (whose proceeds are used to finance environment-focused projects) is working in Singapore. The financing terms for projects are relaxed if the project has a positive impact on environmental sustainability,"Jose Maria Blasco, the economic and trade attache at the Spanish Embassy, told EFE.

One of Singapore's flagship program is the "Zero Waste Nation”. And one of its biggest engineering projects is a sustainable landfill at high sea, which has vegetation growing on top and is inhabited by some animal species too.

Blasco said that in recent decades, the focus of the development plans of the country shifted from industrial transformation, investment and employment generation to an economy based on talent, R&D and innovation.

This, he said, boosted productivity with a "very liberal implementation of economic programs," relying on a foreign trade sector 2.5 times bigger than its GDP.

The tap-water in Singapore is potable - fit for human consumption - even though the country lacks it naturally, as the authorities have established plants to treat the water with latest technologies.

Currently, the island is in the process of designing a pioneering project: an integrated plant for treating water and waste, with the two processes fueling each other with a very high level of efficiency.

Singapore has also made significant efforts in the field of renewable energy despite the shortage of resources, covering roofs with solar panels and building solar energy production units at sea.


News history
Red Cross gives Venezuelan hospitals mosquito nets to battle malaria

Caracas, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The Red Cross will distribute mosquito nets to hospitals in Venezuela to counter the spread of malaria, a disaster management...

Panama's San Blas archipelago being swallowed by the sea

Maria M. Mur

Thousands protest in Nepal against controversial bill

Kathmandu, June 19 (efe-epa).- Thousands of protesters gathered in the Nepal capital on Wednesday demanding the government to scrap a controversial bill to...

High levels of trust in vaccines globally, South Asia tops list

By Clea House

10 years after Spanish missionary's death, his legacy in India lives on

By Noemí Jabois

HRW: Dominican women being denied sexual, reproductive rights

Santo Domingo, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Teenage girls in the Dominican Republic are being denied their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe...

Trump threatens to quickly deport millions of undocumented immigrants

Washington DC, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Monday said that immigration enforcement authorities would begin deporting millions...

United Nations, Jun 17 (EFE).- The Earth will be home to some 9.7 billion people in 2050 and 11 billion in 2100, although the population will grow at a...

Indian doctors stage strike demanding security at hospitals

New Delhi, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Doctors across India on Monday went on strike to protest against the lack of security after a mob attacked healthcare...

G20 agrees to create international framework to reduce marine plastic waste

Tokyo, Jun 16 (efe-epa).- Energy and environment ministers of the G20 countries on Sunday agreed on the creation of an international framework that urges...

A fragile Notre Dame Cathedral holds first Mass since devastating fire

Paris, Jun 15 (efe-epa).- Two months after being devastated by fire, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris held its first Mass this Saturday in conditions still...

Notre Dame of Paris to hold first mass since devastating fire in April

By Catalina Guerrero

Congo Ebola outbreak not a global emergency, World Health Org. says

Geneva, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that the Ebola outbreak blamed for more than 1,400 deaths in the Democratic...

Surfing: Panama's therapy for kids with autism

By Rogelio Adonican Osorio

Slum Manila: A portrait of urban poverty in the Philippines

By Sara Gómez Armas

Five Myanmar nationals, Thai boat captain charged with people smuggling

Bangkok, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- Five Myanmar boat crew-members and the Thai captain of the vessel found stranded on a southern Thai island with 65 Rohingya...

Sole suspect in Christchurch mosque shooting pleads not guilty on all charges

Sydney, Australia, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- The man accused of perpetrating a terror attack against two mosques in New Zealand that killed 51 people on Friday...

Venezuelans gather at Ecuador border trying to get to Peru

By Christian A. Sanchez

Hindu devotees convene for prayers at temple in the Himalayas

Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the religion’s main deities.

Fresh outbreak of Ebola kills two in Uganda after sweeping through DR Congo

Kampala, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- A grandmother in Uganda has died on Thursday, days after her five-year-old grandson and her contracted Ebola.

Community kitchen in London whips up Michelin star meals for the homeless

By Judith Mora

Slum Manila: A portrait of urban poverty in the Philippines

By Sara Gómez Armas

House committee votes to hold AG Barr, Commerce Sect. Ross in contempt

Washington, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution to hold US Attorney General William Barr and Commerce...

Mexico to hold permanent talks on immigration with regional neighbors

Mexico City, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- Mexico will hold permanent discussions on the immigration phenomenon with Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, according to...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.