Singapore miffed at WWF carbon footprint report

March 20, 2012

Singapore is taking umbrage at a recent report published by the WWF that claims the Island state has the highest per capital carbon footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Singapore government is refuting the claims made in the report, arguing that the study was flawed, which has led to a flurry of back and forth between the Singapore government’s environment ministry and WWF officials.

The WWF released its latest Living Planet Report and put Singapore atop the region in terms of carbon footprint along with a statement from WWF President Yolada Kakabadse which cited Singapore as “one of the best examples of what we should not do”.

Last week, the NCCS – which comes under the Prime Minister’s Office – responded sharply, saying the comment “seriously misrepresents the situation.”

Singapore’s main complaint is that the WWF counts emissions from goods that a country imports as attributed to that country which contrasts with the United Nations’ methodology, adopted by Singapore, where emissions are borne by the producing country.

In a statement last week WWF Singapore chief executive Elaine Tan said: “Singapore deserves recognition for the many achievements it has made in reducing its carbon footprint, particularly in energy efficiency.

“But in terms of carbon emissions per capita, the country can do more. So WWF welcomes the opportunity to work with the people, private and public sectors, to reduce the burden our current lifestyles are placing on the planet.”

On WWF’s methodology, she said: “Consumption activities are the primary drivers of environmental pressure but production activities are easier to regulate. Therefore both are important.”

The NCCS also pointed out that ranking countries by per capita carbon emissions disadvantages countries with small populations, and does not reflect Singapore’s lack of alternative energy sources.