How important is it for Singapore to be a sustainable nation?
Very. Singapore, especially, has finite resources and we have to be prudent in how we spend those precious resources. As a country dependent on the global tradewinds and overseas imports to meet our food demand, striving towards a more sustainable future is of utmost concern for us.
Sustainability also has a sociocultural dimension. Singapore is founded on meritocracy and multiculturalism, and we would do well to pay attention to what sustainability entails in the sociocultural sense.
How does Singapore fare in terms of its sustainability efforts to date?
Pretty well thus far. We are seeing a growing number of ground-up and top-down initiatives championing sustainability on many fronts, but we still have ample room for improvement. Singapore’s energy consumption per capita is still among the highest in the world, and nearly 95 per cent of our energy comes from burning natural gas. There has been quite a buzz about high-tech vertical farming, and the present challenge lies with whether scaling these up can be sustainable.
The government encourages big companies and startups to push for sustainability, and provides the resources for it. We are seeing more and more young people getting involved and doing their part too. It is heartening and very endearing to see so many share such a noble cause.