We were asked how to lobby the government on environmental policies, our reply was first don’t use the word ‘lobby’, would prefer to call it nudge. Second, be positive and constructive, think win-win. Third, there’s no guarantee that you can influence the government but you can try these tips on nudging:
Ask the relevant agencies questions about the policy you’re interested in and then listen carefully to the answers. Try to understand why things are done the current way. Seek first to understand then to be understood.
Think of possible solutions that are realistic for the relevant agencies to implement, yet meet the objectives you desire. Be constructive and build credibility, don’t just rant and blame.
Show the government that there is public support for the policy change, the more diverse the support, the better. Communicate progress on the support regularly to the relevant government gatekeepers.
The government is conducting a public consultation for Singapore’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and promote green growth beyond 2020. You can give your feedback to the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) by 31 Mar 2015.
Here’s our suggestions that was submitted to NCCS:
1. Introduce basic carbon footprint reporting and benchmarking for companies
There is currently no comprehensive data and information on the carbon footprint of companies in Singapore and their performance as compared to peers in the same industry. This results in minimal pressure for companies to put in effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
The government can consider a mandatory framework on basic carbon footprint reporting and benchmarking for companies. This reporting framework should be simple and easy to adopt so that it does not add too much burden for companies. One such existing framework is the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, which sets the standard for how to measure, manage, and report greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
Do yourself a favour and spend some time to watch Chai Jing’s documentary on the smog in China: Under the Dome (柴静雾霾调查：穹顶之下). I think when future Chinese look back in history, this documentary will be remembered for being one of the reasons for the shift in environmental awareness and consciousness in China. It’s that good and think it’s better than Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (except there should be some mention of renewables besides switching to oil and gas over coal).
Watch the documentary (in Chinese with partial English subtitles):
There are some lessons on communications and storytelling that the green community here can learn from Chai Jing’s documentary. If you find that her presentation is TED-like or reminds you of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, I think this is not a coincidence as it uses common visual storytelling techniques. Read more
Singapore is well-known as a clean and green city with the government striving for environmental sustainability while growing the economy. The government has also identified Environmental and Water Technologies including Clean Energy as strategic areas where Singapore has a competitive edge and which could generate future economic growth.
To accelerate the growth of the environmental industry and to maintain Singapore’s image as a City in a Garden, the government has initiated several funding and incentive schemes related to energy efficiency and clean energy, green buildings and construction, water and environmental technologies, green transport and shipping, waste minimisation, environmental initiatives, and capability development.
To help businesses understand what’s available, we have compiled a list of 35 government funding and incentives for the environment:
- Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe)
- Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET)
- One-Year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Energy Efficient Equipment and Technology (ADAS)
- Design for Efficiency Scheme (DfE)
- Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) Training Grant
- Energy Innovation Research Programme (EIRP)
- Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Documentation Grant
- Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme
- Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB)
- Green Mark Incentive Scheme – Design Prototype (GMIS-DP)
- Green Mark Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme (GM-GFA)
- Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings and Premises (GMIS-EBP)
- MND Research Fund for the Built Environment
- A*STAR-MND Joint Grant Call for Green Building R&D
- Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme (SGIS)
- Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund (SC Fund)
- Quieter Construction Fund (QCF)
- Water Efficiency Fund (WEF)
- Fast-Track Environmental and Water Technologies Incubator Scheme (Fast-Tech)
- TechPioneer Scheme
- Environment and Water Research Programme (EWRP)
- Technology Enterprise Commercialisation Scheme (TECS)
- Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund
- Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS)
- Green Technology Programme
- Green Ship Programme
- Green Port Programme
- 3R Fund
- Environment Technology Research Programme (ETRP)
- 3P Partnership Fund
- Call for Ideas Fund (CIF)
- HDB Greenprint Fund
- Capability Development Grant (CDG)
- Innovation & Capability Voucher (ICV)
Futures thinking in Singapore is usually associated with the work of the government, which is well-known to make use of futures techniques and planning for identifying key trends, challenges and opportunities. Most local businesses and non-profits, however, are not familiar with the use of futures thinking in their work. But this could change soon with the launch of the Futures Centre in Singapore last week.
The Futures Centre, developed by global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future (Forum) with support from EDB and other Forum partners, is a digital platform for decision makers to track trends, share resources and identify opportunities for sustainable innovation and collaboration. This free platform allows businesses and non-profits to tap into Forum’s futures knowledge. Read more