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Singapore's $1b green plan

Singapore's $1b green plan(By Jessica Cheam via The Straits Times)SINGAPORE'S policymakers have

unveiled a sweeping blueprint, 15 months in the making, to help build a

greener, more energy efficient and sustainable nation.The $1 billion plan, to be implemented over the next five years, will

change everything from the cityscape and landscape here, to the way

Singaporeans live and the way businesses are run.If successful, it will make energy usage here more efficient, reduce

pollution and expand the nation's green spaces - even as the demand for

resources rises along with economic growth.The report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development

(IMCSD) - co-authored by five different ministries - also pledges to

advance Singapore's ambition to be a clean technology and urban

environmental solutions hub.This sector is set to add an estimated $3.4 billion to economic output and

create 18,000 'green collar' jobs by 2015.Speaking at the launch of the 130-page report on Monday, National

Development Minister Mah Bow Tan acknowledged that the document comes amid

Singapore's worst recession since independence.'The temptation is to slow down our efforts in the area of sustainable

development while we tackle the immediate economic challenges. However, the

two are not mutually exclusive,' he said.'If we want to face the challenges of the future, we really have to start

now, today. It's going to take us a long time... but we're financially

committed to it.'The report outlines the findings and recommendations of the IMCSD, which

was set up in January last year to look at ways to create a sustainable

nation in the wake of increasing global awareness of the world's dwindling

natural resources and climate change.Over the past year, more than 700 people including members of the public,

leaders of non-governmental organisations, businesses, grassroots

organisations, academics, and media figures offered views through various

focus group discussions.For the very latest green collar jobs in Singapore, the Far East and

globally please click here