Sentosa targets zero net carbon emissions by 2030; roadmap rolled out focusing on renewable energies, sustainability, environment News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Sentosa Island is known for its golf courses, beaches and luxury hotels. But visitors will soon be able to appreciate another aspect of the playful island – its lush nature and green initiatives – through biodiversity tours or an electric bus ride.
Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), which manages the island in the south of the continent, is implementing a series of phased sustainability measures, with the aim of reducing the island’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero. by 2030.
These measures were described during a virtual press briefing on Friday morning (September 17).
SDC has announced that it will begin electric bus trials with transport company ComfortDelGro Bus next month. All of its island public transport systems should be electrified by 2025. All the parking lots belonging to the SDC will also allow electric vehicles to be recharged by 2030.
Visitors can tour the other rustic islands of the southern Singapore island chain from Sentosa, when SDC will begin offering ferry services via a new jetty at Sentosa Cove Village by December.
Details such as ticket costs are still being worked out and will be announced at a later date, SDC said. Currently, people can visit islands such as Kusu or the Island of St. John only by ferry from Marina South Pier.
The first of the sustainability-themed tours aimed at increasing visitors’ appreciation of nature, biodiversity and heritage in Sentosa will also start in December, the SDC said.
Sentosa companies will begin offering green options for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions, as well as wedding packages next year. They will include electric transportation of guests, disposal of disposables and locally sourced food items.
These were among the plans presented by the SDC on Friday at the launch of Sentosa’s sustainable development roadmap, aimed at specifying how the island intends to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.
This target for Sentosa was set earlier this year with the launch of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the national plan to reduce its carbon footprint.
All companies and entities on Sentosa Island produce approximately 162,000 tonnes of emissions each year. This represents about 0.3% of Singapore’s total emissions profile in 2017, which was 52.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases that year.
Ms Thien Kwee Eng, Director General of the SDC, said that all sustainable development efforts, big or small, are important. She added, “If we can get it right, leveraging collective action within the Sentosa community and embracing innovative solutions, I think that’s really how we want to move forward.
Ms Thien added that Sentosa is a microcosm of Singapore and the country’s contribution to global emissions is also small, at 0.11%. “But we are not shying away from responsibility – I think everyone has to take charge of the area within their sphere of influence and ability to influence,” she said.
The main driver of climate change today is the burning of fossil fuels for energy, as this releases carbon dioxide which warms the planet into the atmosphere.
Part of Sentosa’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 is to harness more renewable energy sources, including solar and tidal power, by harnessing unused marine and land space on the island. There are also plans for waste-to-energy systems that use horticultural waste to produce gas for electricity.
When asked if installing solar panels on the marine space in the Singapore Strait – home to rare sea creatures such as turtles and dolphins that must surface to breathe – could impact the wildlife, Ms Thien said this would be done with sensitivity and in consultation with marine conservation. community.
She added: “Sustainability is at the heart of what we do, so it cannot be done at the expense of other things. We will take careful steps to assess whether a location is suitable.”
Sentosa intends to meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2030, primarily through decarbonization efforts, including electrifying its public transport vehicles and making buildings more energy efficient, but will not rule out buying carbon credits to offset irreducible emissions, Thien said.
When asked if these initiatives would result in higher prices for visitors, Mr. Lee Cheh Hsien, SDC’s divisional planning director, said some green technologies, such as solar panels, are already commercially viable. . He noted that there might be a cost hurdle to other technologies, but this could be overcome by taking advantage of economies of scale.
Mr. Gavin Weightman, Managing Director of the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Hotel, agreed, saying Sentosa’s new business alliance to drive carbon neutrality across the island could help improve the purchasing power of businesses. from the island.
The new Sentosa Carbon Neutral Network, also announced at Friday’s event, includes 17 founding members, including SDC, Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa and Resorts World Sentosa, collectively accounting for over 90% of the island’s estimated carbon emissions. .
The goal of the network is to drive Sentosa-wide sustainability solutions through the sharing of resources and expertise, while leveraging economies of scale and a common network to introduce solutions at scale. ladder.
Mr Weightman added: “If we go into the market as a group… we are able to help these smaller island partners, so they can benefit as well.”