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The woman at the eye of the storm of Asia’s climate risk

By District Energy posted 04-27-2022 05:22




Jakarta is sinking by around 12 centimetres every year. Singapore is heating up at double the global average. Manila is facing a spike in deadly typhoons. And Bangkok is on track to be under water by the middle of the century.

The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in February, leaves little doubt as to what is going on. With extensive coastlines, low-lying territories and many small island states, Southeast Asia is in the eye of the climate change storm.

One figure in the private sector who has not been slow to grasp the risk posed by climate change is Esther An, chief sustainability officer at Singapore-based City Developments Limited (CDL). In 2018 she earned the United Nations Global Compact’s accolade of SDG pioneer for pushing the property developer to adopt greener building methods over the past 20 years, and for helping her company use its base in Singapore to set global benchmarks for green construction and sustainability.

“No matter what we do, Singapore is renewable-energy challenged. That’s why we need to look at something very creative,” says An.

She cites the city state’s recent unveiling of a 60 megawatt (MW) floating solar plant located on a reservoir in western Singapore. The move follows successful, state-sponsored experiments in underground district cooling.

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