ABU DHABI– Singapore is keen to collaborate with the UAE through new projects and solutions, as well as the exchange of expertise to achieve low-carbon economy, said a senior official from Singapore.
Grace Fu Hai Yien, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment of the Republic of Singapore, who was visiting the UAE for the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), said that the UAE has many ideas and strategies to decarbonise its economy and "that’s exactly where Singapore is heading as well".
"In this journey of decarbonisation, there will be many new opportunities and technologies [which need to be tested and piloted]. So, I’m here to explore the opportunities for us to work together in this new phase of sustainable development," Minister Grace Fu told the Emirates News Agency (WAM) in an interview.
One of the areas of interest for Singapore to explore here is sustainable food, in which Minister Grace Fu believes the UAE is progressing well.
"We are looking at low-carbon, high-efficiency production because resources are very scarce. We want to reduce our water usage, our energy usage and get the best system up there, so we can produce food sustainably," she said, adding that Singapore is developing a new area, similar to the UAE’s Food Tech Valley, to meet its food security goals.
Launched last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Food Tech Valley is an initiative that seeks to triple the UAE’s food production by creating an integrated modern city that will serve as a hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products and an incubator for researchers, entrepreneurs, startups and industry experts.
Meanwhile, the Lim Chu Kang area in Singapore will be developed into a high-tech agri-food zone that can raise food production in a sustainable and resource-efficient manner, with an aim to strengthen Singapore’s food security.
"We are having discussion with the [UAE] Minister of Climate Change and the Environment to look at whether we could come up with some projects and maybe pilot some technologies. I think there are many areas where we [can] find commonalities and common topics," the minister said.
Another area of interest is the UAE’s net-zero strategy. "Talking to some of the UAE ministers and decision makers about how they see the transition to [net-zero economy] was very interesting because we are also looking at net-zero path and obviously we are looking for new solutions," Minister Grace Fu said.
Last year, the UAE announced its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, thus becoming the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to make such a commitment. Meanwhile, Singapore aspires to halve its emissions from its peak by 2050, with a view to achieving net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century.
"This transition towards renewable energy and also to look at how we can decorbonise as societies, give me a lot of inspiration," she said.
The Minister also voiced confidence in the UAE’s ability to tackle some of the pressing issues related to climate change and global warming during the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which the UAE will host in Abu Dhabi in 2023.
One of those issues is building up a cardon credit market, that is of high standard and that is functioning for the needs that’s up there.
"The compliance market, airlines, maritime, shipping, are all sectors that are looking for carbon credit solutions, in addition to new technologies. I think there are immense opportunities for discussion and I think it will be the leadership of COP27 and the leadership of COP28 that will guide us towards that future," she concluded.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2022.