Study ranks Singapore as Asia”s greenest city

Published: 16/02/2011 05:00



Singapore is Asia’s greenest metropolis, according to the Asian
Green City Index, a study commissioned by Siemens and carried out by the
independent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Crystal clear
: A representative of the
Economist Intelligence Unit (right) presents the award recognising Singapore
as the region’s greenest metropolis. — File Photo

The EIU analysed the aims and achievements of 22 major Asian
cities, including Ha Noi, with respect to environmental and climate protection.

Singapore stood out in particular for its ambitious
environmental targets and its efficient approach to achieving them. In other
Asian cities as well, environmental awareness and climate protection guidelines
were playing an increasingly important role, according to the study.

“The Asian Green City Index supports cities in their efforts to
expand their infrastructures on a sustainable basis. We want to enable Asia’s
up-and-coming urban centres to achieve healthy growth rates coupled with a high
quality of life,” said Barbara Kux, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG
and the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

The Asian Green City Index examined eight categories of energy
and CO2, land use and buildings, transport, waste, water, sanitation, air
quality and environmental governance.

Ha Noi’s best results were in the energy and CO2, air quality,
and waste categories. Particular strengths in these categories include
relatively low estimated CO2 emissions, a high rate of electricity generated
from hydropower, and its efforts to set and monitor standards for air pollution.
However, the city had significant room for improvement in the categories of
transport and water, land use and buildings, sanitation, and environmental
governance, according to the study.

“I’m very pleased that Ha Noi, Viet Nam’s 1,000-year-old
capital, could participate in the Asian Green City Index initiative, and
although the overall result was not very good, it will certainly assist the city
authorities to better understand where the city is in comparison with other
Asian cities and what needs to be improved, thus making more informed and sound
decisions on the city’s future development”, said Erdal Elver, president and CEO
of Siemens Viet Nam.

The EIU developed the methodology in co-operation with leading
urban experts around the world, including representatives of the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank and Asia’s regional
network of local authorities, CITYNET.

“The study of Asian cities shows one thing very clearly: higher
income does not necessarily mean higher resource consumption. While resource
consumption increases substantially up to an annual gross domestic product (GDP)
of about euro 15,000 (over US$20,000) per capita, it drops again when income
rises beyond this,” said Jan Friederich, research head of the EIU study. In
prosperous Asian cities, environmental awareness was greater and infrastructures
more efficient. These cities were actively cutting their consumption of natural
resources, thus developing more sustainably. “In addition, cities that performed
well in the Index are characterised by their ability to successfully implement
environmental projects and consistently enforce regulations,” explained

According to the study, the biggest challenges facing Asia’s
cities were air pollution, which was relatively high in all the cities studied,
and renewable energies, which on average accounted for just 11 per cent of the
total electricity generated in the 22 cities.

Nam News

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