After being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the highly anticipated COP26 climate change summit finally took place earlier this month in Glasgow, UK. Eager expectations were put on the outcomes of the negotiations, with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the signatory Parties of the 2015 Paris Agreement being renewed as part of the five-year Global Stocktake. Days of grueling negotiations and debates in the COP26 ultimately resulted with mixed opinions and emotions; some parties saw it as an optimistic sign of progress while others viewed it negatively as the conference failed to address climate action targets that are still painfully lacking in efforts.
In summary, the Glasgow Climate Pact as the COP26’s most notable agreement pushes for the limit of 1.5°C temperature increase above pre-industrial level through three means: 1) setting the deadline forward, 2) more financial support for developing countries, and 3) greater facilitation of multilateral partnerships. Through the first means, countries are to set stricter and more ambitious NDC goals to achieve their 2030 emissions reduction targets sooner rather than later, expectedly in the next year’s COP27. On the other hand, the second means addresses an issue which was made clear by this year’s summit: the lack of financial capability for many countries in achieving the 2030 emissions targets. Nevertheless, there are silver linings, including an experimental financial decarbonisation model to be tested out in developing countries, such as South Africa, and more details laid out for carbon offset mechanisms. Lastly, the third spells hope for more multinational collaborations being pledged in various industries (e.g., coal, forests, methane, and electric vehicles), to increase the probability of achieving the 1.5°C goal.
At TEMBUSU Asia Consulting (TAC), we are ready to support organisations in implementing the decisions of the COP26 as your strategic partner in Asia. Over the next year, we are looking forward to more opportunities and collaborations to establish more ambitious climate action targets, particularly in areas as follows:
1. Pledge to end deforestation by 2030
In line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030 to create a City in Nature to plant 1 million more trees, develop and enhance new parks, as well as add new green spaces, TAC seeks to assist our clients to conduct responsible and sensitive development of new spaces. By conducting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA), and Environmental Monitoring & Management Plan (EMMP), we help our clients to manage and minimise their impacts on ecology and environment. TAC’s team of expert ecologists, scientists, and engineers is continuously strengthening our capabilities and keeping up-to-date with these developments in the latest research and development to provide essential and timely services for clients who wish to fulfil their aspirations of environmental stewardship and wildlife management and stewardship.
2. Phasing out coal as main energy source
The Housing Development Board (HDB)’s plans to install solar panels on the rooftop of future buildings are a sure sign of our nation’s stance of moving towards cleaner energy. Parallel to HDB’s initiative are Singapore’s progressively phasing out the use of unabated coal in generating energy for the nation, importing electricity powered by renewable energies, as well as enhancing our R&D on renewable energy and emerging low-carbon technologies. In light of this development, TAC is exploring ways to better assist our clients in making the transition. For instance, we are working with private estates to set up solar Photovoltaics (PV) panels on their rooftops to establish cleaner and greener residences. With more corporations and businesses transitioning towards renewable clean energy, TAC hopes to provide top-notch advisory by our expert consultants and engineers in helping clients to lower their carbon emissions and reduce their energy consumption.
3. Increasing awareness of environmental impacts of businesses
We are seeing the increase in corporate awareness on their impacts on the environment such as in their manufacturing processes, product design, supply chain, packaging, or waste disposal methods. At TAC, we are anticipating a higher demand to assist companies in developing sustainability roadmaps which may lead to lower carbon footprint and reduced waste generation. Such services may take the form of establishing carbon baselines, sustainability awareness training, GRI Standards training on sustainability reporting, sustainability strategy, carbon verification, attaining carbon neutrality, waste management advisory, 3R plan development, zero waste roadmaps, Mandatory Packaging Reporting (MPR) advisory, and much more. TAC’s dedicated team is continuously honing our strengths in these areas to provide world-class consultancy services for clients who wish to embark on their sustainability journey.
A big leap ahead for a sustainable planet more often than not constitutes of many small steps and a collective effort. The COP26 might have closed with a flurry of cautious optimism and disappointed frustration, but despite these challenges, the team at TAC looks forward to taking the necessary steps towards a common future with you – for our People and our Planet.