In your society, how well are the demands of the economy and the environment balanced?

Define: demands of the economy- increasing productivity for Singaporeans, increasing economic growth of the country, being highly competitive and to have a cutting edge in the global world.

This question requires students to consider if there is conflict between environment pursuit and that of economic growth in Singapore. Is there a need to forgo one just for the pursuit of the other? Also, the question requires students to illustrate how the government is able to balance both economy demands and the environment, so that sustainable development is possible moving forward.

Yes both have been well balanced

1.Economic growth has always been pursued together with environment concerns in order to ensure a level of sustainable living for future generations. Both are integral to the progress of the economy and have never been sacrificed for either goal. Singapore has always prided herself as a “green and clean city” and a “garden city”.

Singapore has always been clear on carbon emission standards that cars and vehicles should adhere to. Emission standards are strictly adhered to if not companies will face the consequence of a hefty fine.

The government has also appealed to the highly pragmatic Singaporeans to conserve the environment by paying them to go green. There are subsidies available to purchase an electric car and the National Park Boards have gone so far to even dish out 20% discount for wedding venues held at Hort Park, as long as couples have shown that they have taken at least eight environmentally-friendly measures for their wedding.

The largest and most ambitious garden project ever attempted in Singapore- one that stretches over 54 hectares, approximately the size of 72 soccer fields- Gardens by the Bay- is in itself a testament of how the government tries to balance tourism, growth and environment concurrently.

2.Investing in green technology has always been a priority of the government as they seek to keep up with the demands of the economy and to be the forefront of any environmental developments.

An instance would the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical school which is constructed using green design and environmentally conscious materials while still being architecturally beautiful. The use of sustainable design elements such as the eight-story glass atrium that provides vertical circulation to the whole building and ceramic tiles, which contain titanium dioxide, earned the building Green Mark certification.

Students should note that by the nature of the subject, there is several other possible pointers too, so feel free to discuss freely below!

Back to: 2015 A’levels H1 General Paper (8807) suggested solutions


  • Navin

    I did this question with a slightly different style. I talked about how demands of the economy often conflicted with the demands of environment. I referred demands of the economy as demands from the different sectors in the economy like Households, Government and firms and how their demands oftentimes conflicts the need to conserve environment. After reading through your suggested answer, I think i may be out of point. 🙁

    • Christine Chen

      Hi Navin, I think your approach works well too:) It doesn’t seem to be out of point, so do not worry. At least u did define “demands of the economy” and measure your arguments against this definition. By the way, the outline that I have written is only one of the many ways to answer the question.

  • Jackie Ng

    Is it possible to include 2 pertinent examples from Singapore and 2 other examples which are generic? such as Apple, Samsung and other MNCs instead to justify my point?

    • Christine Chen

      Your generic examples on Apple, Samsung and MNCS have to be linked to the Singapore’s economy ultimately. For instance, you can talk about how big MNCS in Singapore such as Apple and Samsung are/are not adopting environmentally-friendly practices and see they balance against the company’s pursuit of profits. You have to also assess how much these big MNCS contribute to SG’s GDP vs how much they pollute for a better analysis.

  • carrine

    Thanks for ur help on this web! I’d like to ask tho.. For this qn.. I happen to look past the words ‘in your society’ and give most of my examples and topic sentences on assessment based on a global scale, do u in any case know if I will be penalised very badly? )-:

    • Christine Chen

      Hi Carrine,

      If most of your examples and topic sentences are not focused on Singapore, then I am afraid you are not question-focused (meaning not really answering the question). The good side is that you are at least topic-focused. Assuming if you are topic-focused, u will definitely pass the paper, but perhaps with not a too good grade. Hope this clarifies.

  • Marcus

    Hi. if I happen to look past merely listing Singapore in my topic sentence, and not directly linking to Singapore, but however mention Singapore in my introduction as well as in my all my examples and provide context in my explanation, will my marks be affected? thanks

    • Christine Chen

      Hi Marcus, Its fine:) You don’t necessarily have to list Singapore in your topic sentences! As long as your arguments and examples are drawing from Singapore, you should be in safe hands.

  • Slimy octopus

    Hi, how would i fare if i did not define demands of economy specifically, but considered different stakeholders of economy and their contributions to the environment?

    Also,is there a need for counter-balance for this essay? Because i refuted the argument that some people feel that any effort is insignificant due to our small size(eg the haze crisis and Indonesia reluctance to cooperate).

    • Christine Chen

      Hi there, it is ok to consider the different stakeholders of the economy and their contributions. No problem. Yes you would need to counter-balance in order to score for this paper. Its ok if singapore can’t resolve the haze itself herself, she can always appeal to other nations for help or even take it up to UN.

  • (:

    Hi, what if I mention about
    1) Changes in emphasis on different sector
    A) past: construction, manufacturing sector, thus
    -> environment is given up for economic growth
    Then, I rebutted and also said the present
    B) now, SG is becoming more focused on banking sector,
    -> environment not affected, thus both balanced
    2) external issues like haze, does not let us cope with both well as our economy continues growing as there is nothing much we can do due to external govt issues
    3) transport network, public transport becoming better, environment and economy can improve concurrently.
    4) govt planning to incorporate better environment into our residential areas? Environment and economy can continue improving.
    Are these points okay? I’m so afraid of screwing up sigh.

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