Asean to set up green building codes for the region

Asean has exceeded its energy efficiency goals, reducing its energy intensity by more than 20 per cent in 2016 compared to 2005 levels, well ahead of its 2020 target.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing announcing the MOU signing between Asean and the International Renewable Energy Agency yesterday. TNP PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

The grouping, which Singapore chairs this year, also said that it would set up green building codes for the entire region, and that it would sign a memorandum of understanding with the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

These were among the several announcements made at the Asean Ministers on Energy Meeting yesterday, which was held for the first time together with Singapore International Energy Week.

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said in his speech that holding the two events in the same period was to “facilitate the exchange of ideas between top policymakers and energy industry practitioners”.

“Through stronger collaboration and the sharing of innovative ideas and best practices, we can adopt better ideas to prepare our people, cities and countries to navigate the changing energy landscape.”

The annual Singapore International Energy Week brings together energy industry policymakers and players from around the world.

Mr Chan said yesterday that the Asean energy ministers welcomed the development of green building codes for all countries in the region.

To this end, the Asean Centre for Energy recommended that all member states establish a central body to handle certification and improve coordination between the public and private sector. It will also raise awareness on green codes and building the necessary capabilities in each Asean country to implement the recommendations.

Mr Chan said: “This will enable us to better realise energy savings in the buildings sector and effectively manage the significant energy demand expected from this sector in the medium term.”

Asean’s memorandum of understanding with Irena will also see both organisations meet regularly to achieve the goal of almost doubling the bloc’s share of renewable energy by 2025, compared with 2016 levels.

Irena will also provide technical support to Asean for green energy planning and technology, and provide the region with tools to support the development and financing of renewable energy projects.

Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore council member Sanjay Kuttan said that Singapore’s buildings would not be greatly affected by the development of Asean-wide green building codes because the Republic already has “super aggressive” energy efficiency targets for buildings.

“What we’re really going to benefit more from is our companies reaching out to the region and having an influence on other nation’s trajectories and efforts through their expertise.”