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Environment and Resources
The SIIA regards as one of its missions the tackling of regional environmental challenges. Through our Environment and Resources Programme and in partnership with various stakeholders, we focus on the impacts of environmental degradation in the region and on the required solutions.

The SIIA engages both the private and public sectors, as well as civil society, to foster discussion and obtain their inputs on addressing environmental problems. This reflects the SIIA’s view that all sectors should work together closely to tackle environmental issues, so as to facilitate cross-sectorial coordination which can yield maximum results for all. While the Programme is active locally, we also connect with stakeholders across different countries in recognition of the international scope of environmental issues.

Our topical focus includes the crucial health issue of clean air, the current and pressing global problem regarding climate change, as well as the debate and analyses surrounding nuclear energy. Our work includes newspaper commentaries, dialogue sessions and events, and research collaboration with our members.
 
Clean City Air Coalition
In recent years, many Asian cities have been increasingly troubled by air pollution, and the SIIA aims to address these concerns for Singapore and the region. Towards this end, the Clean City Air Coalition (CCAC), a group of like-minded corporate partners dedicated to raising awareness of air quality matters, was officially launched on 3 July, 2012.

The CCAC operates on the principle of “Awareness, Analysis, and Action” and has undertaken the first step – raising awareness of the critical importance of clean city air. When greater awareness of clean air issues is raised within broader society, analysis follows as people study and think about the issues in greater depth. This finally culminates in action when people, armed with knowledge and ideas on how to tackle the issues, begin to take action towards clean city air.

The CCAC has forged partnerships between various stakeholders, working to raise awareness of the impacts of air pollution and the importance of maintaining clean city air in making Singapore and other cities liveable. The CCAC is raising awareness through public interviews and commentaries, as well as forums and dialogues. With “Awareness, Analysis, and Action” in mind, the Coalition is raising greater awareness of the impacts of air pollution so that policy makers and private corporations can be better informed to implement actionable plans, and individual behaviour and broader society can be influenced to maintain Singapore’s good air quality.
 
Livable Cities
As emerging economies across the world continue to urbanise, cities are increasingly confronted by social, economic and environmental problems. This inevitably raises questions: How do we enhance the health, quality of life and sense of community of a city’s inhabitants? How do we ensure a city’s development is inclusive and sustainable? In other words, how do we make our cities livable? These are crucial concerns as a city’s livability drives its economic dynamism and boosts its values and identity, making it attractive to both residents and foreigners alike. As a member and facilitator of the Livable Cities Think Tank under the Philips Center of Health and Well-being, the SIIA aims to address these issues and do its part in maintaining and improving the livability of Singapore and other cities in the region.

For more information on the Livable Cities Think Tank, please click on the following link:http://philips-thecenter.org/livable-cities/
Climate Change
The SIIA has raised the level of the debate on climate change in numerous regional and local fora. In acknowledgment of the Singapore government’s tireless efforts at mitigating climate change, the SIIA has collaborated with government agencies in organising forums addressing climate change and related issues. We also feature celebrity activists and leaders from environmentally-conscious corporations speaking at our events.

The climate change issue is closely linked to the transboundary haze problem. The haze is an annual phenomenon that affects the region, causing reduced visibility and outbreaks of respiratory ailments. Similar to climate change, the haze cannot be tackled unilaterally by individual states, but requires a coordinated effort among all countries in the region as well as a deepening of existing collaborative efforts. As a think-tank, the SIIA has taken the lead in organising dialogues and Ministerial-level forums across different countries to address the haze problem. The SIIA continues to engage the private sector, government agencies, academia, and non-government organisations from the region.
 
Energy and Nuclear Power
Asia's energy needs are rising exponentially with the region's economic growth. Currently, per capita energy use in Asia remains lower than in the developed economies of the West. In ASEAN, energy consumption is projected by the International Energy Association to expand by an annual rate of 2.5 percent to 2030, effectively doubling over the next two decades.

ASEAN is not well positioned to meet such a scenario, especially given it faces an insecure supply of energy resources and rising global energy prices. While Asia is home to several oil-producing nations, the region still imports most of its oil from the Middle East. South-east Asia does account for about 40 percent of the world's supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and use of LNG is rising, but LNG may not suffice to meet the region's energy demands in the longer term. While some Asian countries have embarked on major renewable energy projects such as hydropower dams or biofuel initiatives, there are concerns these may not be sufficient to meet baseload demand.

As such, despite the dangers underscored by the 2011 disaster at Fukushima, several ASEAN countries are still exploring the possibility of nuclear power. Prior to Fukushima, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand had plans to build their first nuclear power plants, though these have been delayed or deferred since the crisis in Japan. However, Vietnam still aims to have two nuclear plants operational by around 2020, with contracts awarded to Japanese and Russian firms. Vietnam plans to have 14 nuclear reactors in total, at eight locations, by 2030. Elsewhere in Asia, China and India, the countries with the largest nuclear power projects in Asia, are continuing with their existing ambitious nuclear programmes.

In this context, it is important that Asian countries considering nuclear power to explore all available energy options and take into account public opinion. If countries do choose to pursue nuclear energy, it is also crucial that this is done in an accountable and transparent fashion, in accordance with international standards. There is also room for enhanced regional governance at the ASEAN or wider Asian level.
 
Related Links
• Commentary: Towards Clean City Air: 'People power' can make a difference [6 Sep 2012]
   http://siiaonline.org/content.aspx?page=commentariesDetails&id=74&ArticleCategoryId=4
 
• Clean Air Forum & CCAC Launch [3 July 2012]
   http://siiaonline.org/content.aspx?page=EventDetails&id=20&ArticleCategoryId=5
 
• Sep 11 2012
   APEC Leaders’ Declaration: emphasis on energy security
   http://www.siiaonline.org/content.aspx?page=InsightDetails&id=562&ArticleCategoryId=7
 
 

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