Singapore’s “City of the Future” will feature “solar-powered air-conditioners, vacuum garbage collection, subterranean roads for electric vehicles, urban farms and green architecture.” Just imagine, an entire city built with environmental sustainability in mind!

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener, brighter future. Follow Emeraldology on social media or sign up for our weekly newsletter to have Hopeful Headlines sent directly to your inbox!

Singapore’s New City of the Future Is Its Greenest Project Yet

Faris Mokhtar, Bloomberg, October 20, 2020

  • Singapore is planning to build the city of the future, known as Tengah. The city is designed to reduce energy use and emissions tied to air conditioning. The average temperature in Singapore is around 81 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
  • The city will feature “solar-powered air-conditioners, vacuum garbage collection, subterranean roads for electric vehicles, urban farms and green architecture.” Underground car parking, rail networks, and roadways will free up space for urban farming and natural areas that reduce the urban heat-island effect.
  • From the article: “In Tengah, the cooling units will be solar powered and installed on rooftops of public-housing blocks, with chilled water piped through the buildings. The system’s operator, SP Group, says the network can cut energy use by 30% — an emissions saving equivalent to 4,500 gasoline-powered cars.”

Why it matters: Although smaller than the size of New York City, Singapore’s carbon footprint is larger “than some countries that are 50 times its size.” Not only will Tengah reduce Singapore’s carbon footprint, it could serve as a model for other nations to recreate the “city of the future” concept.

Report: Japan to announce net zero target

By James S Murray, Business Green, October 21, 2020

  • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to unveil a new target for Japan to become a “carbon-free society by 2050. Japanese target comes shortly after China’s surprise announcement that it is targeting net zero emissions by 2060.
  • Since setting an 80 percent emissions reduction as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Japan has been reluctant to bolster its climate goals. The new target represents a “major diplomatic breakthrough” from one of the world’s leading economies.
  • From the article: “The EU and UK have both already adopted binding net zero targets, while Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden has repeatedly stressed that if he is elected the US will both remain in the Paris Agreement and introduce its own net zero goal. Combined with China’s new net zero goal and Japan’s mooted target, it means that all of the world’s four largest economies could have net zero targets and comprehensive decarbonisation strategies in place by the time world leaders gather in Glasgow for next year’s UN Climate Summit.”

Why it matters: The more the merrier, right? Having a Top 4 global economic power throw its weight behind renewable energy and net zero emissions is definitely a good thing for the climate. Let’s just hope SOMEONE **cough cough** United States * cough* follows suit.


Anthony Cuthbertson, The Independent, October 20, 2020

  • Scientists in Australia discovered a process to make “miracle material” perovskite usable in next-generation solar cells. The breakthrough could make PV solar panels even cheaper and more efficient.
  • Perovskite is found in the Earth’s mantle and has been “hailed for its unprecedented potential to convert sunlight into electricity.” It also has applications for data storage.
  • The material was difficult to use because it became unstable under low light intensity, like that of a normal sunny day. However, by focusing more light on the substance, it becomes usable for solar cell applications.

Why it matters: Perovskite was dubbed the “miracle material” in 2017, but scientists believed it would be at least 10 years before it was usable for commercial applications. The breakthrough in Australia accelerates that timetable, continuing the trend of rapid growth in solar technology.

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Feature photo by Daniel Abadia on Unsplash.