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Pressemeddelelse: Singapore and Denmark share ideas on fighting climate change

11.09.2017  03:32

Singapore, 11 September 2017 – Over 50 representatives from Singapore and Denmark, comprising government stakeholders, academics, researchers and industry professionals, came together this morning to share ideas and best practices for accelerating the uptake of green building solutions and technologies and encouraging citizens to embrace more sustainable lifestyles.

Themed “Cities & Citizens Confronting Climate Change”, the event is the third in a series of annual bilateral dialogues organised by the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore. Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director at Centre for Liveable Cities, Ministry of National Development, was the guest of honour at today’s dialogue, held at the newly minted zero-energy Singapore Sustainability Academy (SSA).

In his keynote address, Mr Khoo said, “Singapore is responding to climate change through the collective efforts of people, private and public sectors, and through active collaboration with international partners. I hope today’s dialogue will open up conversations between businesses, agencies, organisations, individuals and the community to work together to share ideas from one another and collaborate towards ensuring a more sustainable and liveable Singapore.”

Both Singapore and Denmark have ambitious goals for going green. Singapore is committed to lower its emissions and improve energy efficiency, particularly by greening its buildings and reducing water and electricity consumption. Copenhagen aims to become carbon-free by 2025. It has implemented a multitude of initiatives to support sustainable lifestyles, with Copenhageners acting as the driving force behind the change.

An interesting notion that surfaced during the dialogue was the concept of “nudging”. The idea, which leverages cognitive and social psychological biases and habits to drive sustainable lifestyle behaviours, is being increasingly deployed in public campaigns alongside policy solutions.

According to Mr Andreas Maaløe Jespersen, Associate Researcher at Danish behavioural research firm iNudgeyou, “The main difference with nudging is to understand the behaviour you are trying to change. Traditional behaviour change programmes tend to rely on channels and tools such as advertisements and taxes to modify what people know or want. Good examples are infomercials and tobacco taxes, which are used to deter smoking. Such programmes work on the underlying rationale that people are always applying conscious processes in deciding what they do.

“Nudging builds on scientific disciplines with a more nuanced view on people’s behaviour. It uses contextual elements to drive behavioural outcomes without necessarily having to introduce more information or resorting to fines and incentives,” Mr Jespersen added.

The nudging concept has led to numerous successes in terms of achieving greener behaviours in Denmark. Mr Jespersen highlighted the example of a field experiment to reduce litter in the streets and alleys of Copenhagen – a persistent problem that has been both environmentally and economically costly. “With a little social psychology and nothing more than some decorative stickers, we found that nudging could cut the prevalence of litter by as much as 43%.”

Said Mr Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s Mayor for Technical & Environmental Affairs, "Through the Pure Love for Copenhagen campaign, we created awareness of littering, and now rubbish is being thrown into bins, instead of the street. Copenhageners are proud of their city so we utilised this in our campaign. We have encouraged and created a cleaner city, where saving the environment from the stress of litter has made a direct impact, and protected the environment from the burden of city clean ups."

Singapore too, among other governments around the world, has come to realise that “nudging” can be more effective than warnings or fines when it comes to driving changes in behaviour. Singapore Power, for example, has been driving less wasteful behaviours by showing families how their electricity and water consumption compares to the average Singaporean household through the monthly utility bill.

Another speaker at the event was Ms Esther An, City Developments Limited’s (CDL) Chief Sustainability Officer, who shared CDL’s perspective on fostering green growth in cities. “CDL is honoured to be the venue host for this timely and meaningful dialogue. The vision of our Sustainability Academy is to be a hub for knowledge and capacity building, thought leadership and partnership. It complements CDL’s long standing commitment to build a greener and more sustainable future,” she added.
 
The speakers also took on topics relating to the role of governments, industries and citizens in co-creating sustainable solutions during the panel discussion. (See detailed programme enclosed.)

Said Her Excellency Dorte Bech Vizard, Ambassador of Denmark to Singapore, “Climate change is real and it is happening fast. The theme for this year is a timely one as both Singapore and Denmark grapple with the prospect of enrolling every citizen in their respective environmental agendas. The dialogue today is a reflection of Denmark’s desire to join hands with other governments to further the cause of confronting climate change, explore new opportunities for collaboration, and co-create outcomes that could benefit societies.”

Marking the occasion, the Ambassador and Mayor Kabell jointly officiated at the planting of partner plaques on a “green wall” at the premises of SSA, Singapore’s first people, public and private ground-up institute dedicated to tackling climate change. More about the SSA at https://www.cdlsustainability.com/singapore-sustainability-academy

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For media enquiries and RSVP, please contact:

Royal Danish Embassy, Singapore
Lisbet Andersen
Email: lisand@um.dk
Mobile +65 9636 3819



 

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