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Simon Wong, High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore, on Sunday announced plans to invest ₹31,000 crore in Tamil Nadu.

Speaking before the start of the country-specific session at the Global Investors Meet 2024, he recalled a visit by a Tamil Nadu delegation, led by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, to Singapore last year to invite investors to the GIM.

“I have to report to all the guests here that we have been long-standing partners of Tamil Nadu for centuries. Because of his team and the efforts of Guidance Tamil Nadu, we made a commitment to visit the GIM in a big way. There are around 80 business people. We are committed to ₹31,000 crore in investments in Tamil Nadu... Being the first partner country of Tamil Nadu, we want to assure [the State] that our journey together will be a long-standing one,” he said.

Later, Professor Tai Lee Siang, head of Pillar, Architecture and Sustainable Design, Singapore University of Technology and Design, said creating a design for a ‘net-zero’ society requires an intention to design for it specifically and that increasingly ‘green’ cities or net-zero cities are built on the foundation of a ‘business-as-usual’ approach.

Delivering the keynote address on creating a framework for India’s first net-zero industrial park, Professor Siang said, “The design for a net-zero world means there should be an intentional effort to design for it, but since 2016, we are not seeing sufficient design implementation leading to a measurable outcome. I call this a Plan B, but Plan B is not planet B. There is no planet B. More importantly, it is about tackling ‘business as usual’ [mindset] because that’s the part that actually gives us a lot of problems.”

He added that responsible industrial park developers, city developers, and district developers must look at ‘solarisation’. “And, therefore, increasingly, we will need to look at where else we can maximise solarisation. For example, in Singapore, as you know, we have an issue of water supply and water sustainability. So, at the same time, we thought we could lay our solar panels on the water reservoir, so we solved two problems in one stroke,” he said.

Professor Siang added that a ‘net-zero’ industrial park must start with scope 1, which is a green master plan, populated with green buildings that tackle ‘business-as-usual’ approach; scope 2, which is to ensure ‘over’-provision of renewable energy at district and building levels; and scope 3, which is to increase the network effect of a green district to mitigate logistics and supply chain carbon emissions.