As a densely populated city-state, Singapore subscribes to the principle of sustainable development and actively takes part in international initiatives on the environment. We are committed to doing our part to realise global and sustainable development objectives, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development's Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. Singapore is also a committed participant in global and regional environmental sustainability fora, such as the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF), the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development (MCED) and the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment.
We ratified the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) in 1997 and acceded to the Kyoto Protocol in 2006. As a non-Annex I Party to the UNFCCC, we are not subject to binding greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. However, we firmly believe that it is important for Singapore and other countries to make a contribution to the global effort to combat climate change with each country doing its best to achieve this based on common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities and national circumstances. Accordingly, Singapore announced, just before the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009, a pledge to reduce our GHG emissions by 16% below Business-As-Usual levels in 2020. Singapore’s pledge is based on the condition that there should be a legally-binding global agreement in which all countries implement their commitments in good faith. Multilateral negotiations at the UNFCCC to find a global solution to the climate change problem are still ongoing. The latest round of negotiations in Durban, South Africa, in December 2011 concluded with the adoption of a package of decisions that built on the foundation laid out in the Bali conference in 2007. Progress was made under the key pillars of the Bali Action Plan. Notably, a number of developed countries agreed to undertake another round of binding emissions reductions under a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol post-2012. The Durban decisions also operationalised a number of key mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which would serve as the long-term financing body for climate action in developing countries, and enhanced the reporting framework for mitigation actions. Most significantly, Parties agreed to start negotiations on a new climate change framework for post-2020 period. This will require all countries to do more. Singapore supports international efforts to reduce emissions and we will play our part. The next Conference of the Parties (COP-18) will be held in Doha, Qatar in November 2012.
We have been providing technical assistance - both bilaterally and jointly with other countries and International Organisations - to developing countries on climate change-related issues under the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP). To date, over 3,700 participants from more than 170 developing countries have attended SCP training courses on topics such as sustainable urban development, water management and energy efficiency and emissions reduction. Where possible, we have also customised our training courses to make them more relevant for our friends. Examples of such programmes are the Small Island Developing States Technical Cooperation Programme which is catered to participants from small island developing states. We will ensure that the SCP continues to provide training courses on climate change issues that are relevant and up to date.
Singapore has ratified or acceded to the following key multilateral treaties on the environment:
For more information on Singapore's efforts to respond to climate change, please visit NCCS.