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S'pore can set example for ASEAN on energy use: IEA

By Wong Mun Wai, Channel NewsAsia
09 November 2007

SINGAPORE: Singapore can set an example for the rest of ASEAN when it comes to the use of energy, said William Ramsay, the deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

According to IEA, the Energy Studies Institute at the National University of Singapore could look into areas such as analysing the use of energy by studying energy policy, security and its impact on the environment.

Mr Ramsay said the work would show how ASEAN and in particular, Singapore, can contribute to how energy is being used.

"Singapore, at the centre of ASEAN, could begin making significant changes by doing things differently," he said.

The deputy executive director of IEA is in Singapore to discuss the agency's latest report on energy use.

The report highlights a fact that countries around the equator, like Singapore, would be among the first to suffer from the effects of polluting the planet.

Mr Ramsay said: "Places like China and India and countries not far from the equator know they are going to be the first victims of this. They know they are going to suffer the weather irregularities, they are going to suffer the extreme rains or the extreme droughts; they know they are going to suffer migration of diseases. So intellectually and at the senior policy levels in those countries, we see recognition. The question is how well they can translate that into action."

For the first time, the report concentrates on the two economic giants, China and India.

For China, it says if the country adopts the policies that are being planned, China could cut its energy use by about 15 percent by 2030.

And for India, the country could lower its coal imports by more than half by 2030.

- CNA/so