Singapore’s growing population and use of resources has seen their environmental ranking worsen in a recent report from the World Wide Fund for Nature. Out of the 150 nations that were surveyed, Singapore ranked as the seventh largest ecological footprint in the world, which is a climb from their position as twelfth in the last report released in 2012.
The report is released every two years and it is based upon data that is compiled from UN agencies and groups like the International Energy Agency. While Singapore may have increased in their ranking, they did not break the top five, which consists of Belgium, Denmark, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The rankings are determined by the amount of natural resources that a nation uses to support the population in comparison with how much natural resources that they have and the resources that are used in the delivery and production of goods and services. With this, it not only weighs the economic impact that consumption has on the nation being surveyed, but also the impact that their activities have on other nations.
Director General of the WWF, Marco Lambertini, highlights the importance of reducing consumption for nations around the world and the need for a shift toward using resources that are more sustainable, saying, “Consume products that have a lower footprint or no footprint or products that are incentivizing sustainable practices.”
Dr. Lambertini also noted that Singapore’s position as a major financial center puts the nation in a unique position to make a difference in sustainability for the entire region. He recommends a shift toward investing in companies that have higher standards of sustainability.
Lambertini pointed to legislation like the Transboundary Haze Act as a means for reducing the ecological footprint of the nation and how that model has the potential to work for other environmental issues like deforestation.