Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Scott Slocombe

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Robert McLeman

Advisor Role

Advisor and second reader


Exploring how spatiality influences public policies and local behaviors towards achieving the goal of a low carbon society could demonstrate the significance of regional knowledge. This research used Tobler’s first law of geography as the conceptual framework to analyze and find similarities in Japan and Singapore’s historical emissions and geographic limitations to achieve their carbon reduction goals. The study collected and compared Japan and Singapore’s historical emissions data, energy consumption trends, and emission trajectory by sector. The research used a mixed-methods approach to identify common practices, relevant public policy frameworks, large-scale emissions reduction projects, and environmental and socioeconomic ground realities that could help determine if and how spatial characteristics influence decarbonization strategies within a region. The research analyses demonstrated that a higher degree of similarities in decarbonization policies among the two case studies could be seen in electricity generation, while the transport sector did not show many similarities. At the same time, policies targeting industry emissions show similarities but also some key differences. Spatially closer countries benefit from similar energy efficiency and electrification policies related to how commercial and residential buildings in a region consume energy and emit CO2 - partly due to their shared climate experiences and the unique spatial influence on their social and cultural geography. The results of this study were mixed, which reflects the limitations of secondary data and the need to explore further decarbonization efforts from a local and regional human geography perspective. The study concluded that comparing the emissions reduction approaches of neighboring countries could have theory and practice value. Such empirical research could unpack how different neighboring communities could utilize regional knowledge-banks to shape their climate change mitigation strategies.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season