Climate change is a global challenge that requires a global response.
As a small, low-lying city-state with one of the world’s most open economies, Singapore is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. We are committed to a multilateral, rules-based solution to address this challenge, and actively support and participate in international negotiations on this front.
Singapore ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997, acceded to the Kyoto Protocol in 2006, and also ratified the amendments on the second commitment period (from 2012 to 2020) of the Kyoto Protocol in 2014. At the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-21) in Paris on 12 December 2015, countries adopted the Paris Agreement, a universal and legally binding agreement for post-2020 climate action. Singapore ratified the Paris Agreement on 21 September 2016 in New York, becoming one of the first few countries to do so, alongside 30 other countries. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, 30 days after it crossed the double threshold of 55 Parties ratifying and the total emissions of ratifying Parties exceeding 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Following three years of negotiations, Parties subsequently agreed to conclude the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), stipulating the modalities, procedures and guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, during COP-24 in Katowice, Poland in December 2018. We look forward to concluding discussions on outstanding elements of the PAWP at COP-26 in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021.
Although Singapore accounts for around 0.11 percent of global carbon emissions, we have made significant efforts to reduce emissions domestically. About 95 percent of our electricity is generated from natural gas – the cleanest fossil fuel – and we have implemented policies to cap vehicle growth and manage vehicular emissions. Our small size and high population density, however, limits our ability to draw on alternative energy such as solar, wind, or nuclear. Nonetheless, we firmly believe that it is important for all countries to contribute to global efforts to combat climate change, with each doing its best based on principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities and national circumstances.
Singapore also strongly believes in contributing to global efforts through providing capacity-building to fellow developing countries to help them meet their climate pledges and take effective action on climate change. Notably, we established a dedicated Climate Action Package (CAP) under the Singapore Cooperation Programme in 2018 to help develop capacity in developing countries in areas such as climate science, flood management, and disaster risk reduction. Recently, we have undertaken a slew of initiatives with fellow ASEAN Member States on capacity-building to effectively implement the Paris Agreement. Our technical assistance programmes have been undertaken bilaterally, with other countries, or in partnership with relevant international organisations.
SINGAPORE'S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
Singapore launched our Climate Action Plan in July 2016 which details our strategies to adapt to the impact of climate change, such as implementing coastal and infrastructure protection measures. The Plan also explains our approach to reduce carbon emissions up to 2030, which includes: (i) improving energy efficiency; (ii) reducing carbon emissions from power generation; (iii) developing cutting-edge low-carbon technologies; and (iv) responding through the collective action of government agencies, individuals, businesses and the community. These steps have been reflected in Singapore’s climate pledge (i.e., our Nationally Determined Contribution or NDC) under the UNFCCC. In July 2015, we announced our target of reducing emissions intensity by 36 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilising emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030.
Most recently, despite the difficult circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore pressed ahead to submit our enhanced NDC and Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) to the UNFCCC on 31 March 2020. The enhanced NDC updates our 2015 pledge with an absolute target to peak emissions at 65 MtCO2e (million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) around 2030. Singapore’s LEDS builds on this enhanced NDC by aspiring to halve our emissions from its peak to 33 MtCO2e by 2050, with a view to achieving net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century. It is our hope that our announcement will encourage other Parties to do likewise, thereby strengthening the momentum of global climate action and ensuring that we seize this opportunity to implement an inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.
More information on Singapore’s Whole-of-Government efforts on climate change can be found on the National Climate Change Secretariat, Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office (NCCS) website.