News Headlines from Issue 222 ABC Carbon Express 24 February 2017

Pictured is Singapore, one of the world’s largest oil refinery centres, looking resplendent in the setting sun. But is the sun setting on its glory days as a fossil-fuelled paradise? Singapore is providing leadership for its South east Asian neighbours as its steers a course towards a low carbon future. The city state is committed to introduce a carbon tax. Along with its Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, it calls for a car-lite and zero waste society. It already has an all-electric rapid transit system and is encouraging the introduction of solar energy.

SINGAPORE: Reactions to the announcement of the introduction of a carbon tax in Singapore in 2019 have been generally positive, with stakeholders and observers calling the move timely and one that will transform Singapore’s economy for the better. Shell Singapore said it has long supported a “strong and stable Government-led carbon price” as this mechanism stimulates technologies for those industries that can decarbonise quickly; while providing time for other sectors that will take longer. Read what Channel News Asia has to say.

WASHINGTON: The Environmental Protection Agency’s new administrator Scott Pruitt regularly huddled with fossil fuel firms and electric utilities when he was Oklahoma’s Attorney General about how to combat federal environmental regulations and spoke to conservative political groups about what they called government “overreach,” according to thousands of pages of emails made public. The Washington Post has the story.

CANBERRA: The Australian Government isn’t really interested in funding new coal fired power stations, it wants to destroy investment in renewable energy and the agencies responsible for driving the transition away from coal. The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Energy-Environment Minister think the politics of climate change and energy means renewable energy is enemy number one. Matthew Rose writes for Reneweconomy 

WELLINGTON: New Zealand is a world leader in renewable energy generation, effective energy markets, and robust policies for electricity security. This is related to the unique natural resource base and geography of New Zealand, according to a new assessment report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). John Johnston has the story in 9 Billion. 

LONDON: The UK Government hopes that smart grids will pave the way towards a renewable energy future. The key to creating a smart grid is flexibility. Professor Sir David King, special representative for climate change at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said: “In order to move to a low-carbon power system, incorporating more renewable energy, we also need to create a smarter, more flexible power system,” adding that the government should “encourage smart technologies such as storage through changes to policy, regulation and market design”.  Nnamdi Anyadike investigates for Power-Technology. 

Have you registered yet for the Technology and Sustainable Landscape Design Conference in Singapore on Friday 3 March?

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