May 19, 2020

ACT Government to Remain at 5 Percent Green Energy Use Until 2018-2019

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ACT Government to Remain at 5 Percent Green Energy Use Until 2018-2019

In 2012-2013, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government slashed green energy use from the mandatory 37.5 percent to just 5 percent. This caused renewable energy use in the government buildings to drop by more than 80 percent, and carbon emissions rose by 15 percent. Last week, the ACT government shared in a report that green energy purchases will continue to be 5 percent of total power use through 2018 and 2019.

The report – the Carbon Neutral ACT Framework – also shared that any additional green power energy purchases over 5 percent would be put on hold until after 2018.

"Following the review of the framework in 2016, the government will determine the most appropriate level of GreenPower purchase for achieving carbon neutrality [for the ACT government] in 2020," the report read.

To work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, solar panels and solar hot water would be used in government buildings, among several other initiatives besides implementing renewable energy.

Simon Corbell, environmental minister, also made it clear that when the ACT government launches the framework, energy performance of government buildings would be monitored closely.

"A couple of great examples are already underway at Dame Pattie Menzies House in Dickson, where the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate is," Corbell said. "They've achieved a 68 per cent reduction in the use of energy in their building.

"At Ainslie Fire Station, [there has been] a 30 per cent reduction in energy use through improvements to the heating and cooling systems and installation of a large set of solar panels."

Greenhouse gas emissions produced by government buildings will be reported via the ACT Government Enterprise Sustainability platform, where it will be easier to monitor energy performance on a large scale. The framework also plans on providing corporations with access to money to have a carbon fund, allowing department to seek out a loan for energy efficiency measures.

A spokesperson for Corbell has shared that any money the government has since saved from purchasing less renewable energy has been used to implement energy efficiency measures in government offices.

"The government is of the opinion that this change of focus from purchasing offsets to energy efficiency savings represents better value for money from the allocated funding," he said.

He is also very confident that the improvement in energy reduction over the next six years would keep the ACT on track to reach the renewable energy target of 90 percent by 2020, since the ACT government only makes up about 5 percent of the total energy use in the territory.

Despite the drop in renewable energy use and the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, the director-general of the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate believes the ACT is leading the way. Dorte Ekelund shared that the government has continued to demonstrate a high level of environmental awareness.

"We're a community that really gets climate change is real and collectively we have an obligation to do something about it," he said.

Information sourced from Canberra Times.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

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Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.

 

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