Singapore designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action to raise public awareness on the need to take collective action to fight climate change.
Individuals, schools, youth, businesses, and NGOs all play their part in reducing our carbon footprint, fighting climate change and ensuring a sustainable living environment for our future generations.
The Year of Climate Action also supports the 2030 Development Agenda. Singapore is working with the international community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 13 which calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Climate Adaptation Efforts
With the capacity to produce 30 million gallons of desalinated water per day, the opening of the Tuas Desalination Plant in June this year was a big step towards ensuring the security of Singapore’s water supply. With the addition of the new plant, desalination can now meet 30% of Singapore’s water demand.
Singapore has been investing in infrastructure to adapt to climate change. The Stamford Diversion Canal and Stamford Detention Tank will strengthen existing flood protection and climate adaptation measures.
Climate Mitigation Efforts
The Carbon Pricing Act was passed in March 2018, and will come into force on 1 January 2019. The carbon tax complements Singapore’s suite of mitigation measures to incentivise emissions reduction across all sectors and transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Government is prepared to spend more than the expected revenue of about $1 billion in the initial five years to support worthwhile projects which deliver the necessary abatement in emissions.
Car population growth has been frozen since February 2018. This ensures no new vehicles are added to the roads, reducing congestion.
Singapore makes continued investment to improve public transport. In the coming years, 50 diesel-electric hybrid buses and 60 electric buses will be progressively deployed as part of efforts to make the public bus fleet more environmentally-friendly.
In addition, eight in ten households will be within a ten-minute walk of a a train station by 2030.
Singapore plans to raise the adoption of solar power in our system to 350 Megawatt peak (MWp) by 2020, and to 1 Gigawatt peak beyond 2020. PUB has announced development plans for floating solar photovoltaic (PV) at four reservoirs (Bedok, Lower Seletar, Upper Pierce and Tengeh). The four reservoirs have a total solar potential of 60 MWp, which is sufficient to power about 16,000 HDB households a year. Together with a Request for Information, led by EDB to assess the feasibility of deploying a commercial floating solar PV system at Kranji Reservoir, these initiatives could potentially supply up to 160 MWp of solar energy.
Enhanced energy efficiency (EE) grants for the industry was launched on 30 October 2018. Administered by EDB, NEA and EMA, the grants will provide higher support to industrial facilities to implement EE projects. The maximum support rate has been increased from 30% to 50%.
NEA launched the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) Assessor Scheme on 11 October 2018. The scheme will help to grow the talent pool of energy managers in Singapore.
Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for motors was introduced on 1 October 2018. Motors supplied in Singapore now need to meet IE3 or equivalent levels of energy efficiency.
NEA launched the Switch and Save programme in August 2018 for one- and two- room HDB households in Northeast District to encourage energy savings by changing light sources to LED bulbs. NEA, in partnership with Northeast CDC and Hong Kah North grassroots, has reached out to more than 16,000 households. Close to 1,600 of those have also received vouchers to offset the costs of buying LED lighting over the first 3 months. The programme will be progressively rolled out to other districts.
NEA announced that MEPS for incandescent lamps would be raised to 2 ticks from November 2019. This will bring us a step closer to our goal of having all bulbs sold in Singapore to be minimally at LED efficiency level from 2023.
MEWR, NEA and PUB announced plans to build Tuas Nexus, the world’s first co-located waste management facility and water reclamation plant. It will employ the latest technologies and synergies between the two facilities to maximise resource recovery and energy use.
Within Government, the Public Sector Sustainability Plan 2017 – 2020 (PSSP) charts the path towards environmental sustainability. The public sector is on track to meet committed FY2020 sustainability targets of:
- 15% reduction in electricity consumption from FY2013 baseline consumption. Currently we have already achieved 3.4%;
- 5% improvement in Water Efficiency Index (WEI) from FY2013 baseline. Currently we have already achieved 2.4%; and
- 100% green buildings adoption. Currently, all new public sector buildings have achieved BCA Green Mark (GM) Platinum standard, and 70% and 55% of existing large and medium-sized public sector buildings have achieved GM GoldPlus and Gold standards respectively.
- The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) was recently recognised at the Energy Efficiency National Partnership Awards 2018 for its efforts to save energy at its two land checkpoints, which led to over 14 million kWh of savings annually (enough to power almost 2,500 households for a year).
A Climate Action SG Pledge was launched in January 2018 for individuals and organisations to make a public commitment to take climate action. To date, more than 300,000 pledges have been received.
The Sustainable Singapore Gallery at the Marina Barrage re-opened in June 2018, featuring six zones tracing Singapore’s response to climate change, our water management strategies, zero waste initiatives, and efforts to keep Singapore clean, green and sustainable.
- 3P (Public, Private, People) Partnership
The MEWR Family partnered community groups, schools, corporates and NGOs to organise more than 800 3P initiatives to influence their networks to take climate action.
As Chair of ASEAN, Singapore convened the SAMCA and E-SAMCA to galvanise regional climate action. The meetings provided ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Plus Three countries a platform to engage one another on their climate action plans, reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement and discuss ways to step up regional action to address climate change.
The E-SAMCA also involved the Presidencies of the 23rd and 24th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Ms Patricia Espinosa and the ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi. At the meetings, Singapore also announced the launch of a Climate Action Package, which would serve to enhance the region’s capacity in addressing climate change.
The Chair’s Summary of the meetings was submitted to the UNFCCC as input to the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue, and can be accessed at: https://unfccc.int/documents/181420
- Singapore’s first Voluntary National Review at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2018
Singapore undertook its first Voluntary National Review at the UN High Level Political Forum 2018 on Sustainable Development on 18 July 2018. Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, presented Singapore’s VNR and shared Singapore’s sustainable development journey and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals under the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of the presentation, Minister Masagos highlighted Singapore’s efforts in addressing climate change.
A Climate Action SG Alliance led by 3P partners was set up to develop new initiatives to rally the public to climate action.
These initiatives seek to: (i) Support NEA’s drive to educate the public on how to recycle right; (ii) Encourage companies to commit to reducing or eliminating their plastic consumption; and (iii) Encourage a waste minimisation culture in schools.
The Climate Action SG Grant was launched to encourage ground-up efforts related to climate action. Each constituency, NGO and Interest Group is eligible to be funded up to S$5,000.
As of November 2018, the Grant has funded 81 interest groups, NGOs and constituencies, and 300 climate action activities.
The 2nd Partners for the Environment Forum was co-organised by MEWR and Global Initiatives on 10 July 2018. The Forum saw close to 260 participants from the 3P sectors gather to discuss ideas on inter-sectorial collaboration related to the theme “Accelerating Action on Climate Change”.
MEWR and The Singapore Scout Association also signed an agreement at the Forum to start a five-year Climate Action Programme for Scouts.
- 3P Sector Initiatives
Singapore Environment Council launched the EcoLifeSG web-based application in July 2018 for organisations and individuals to track their carbon footprint.
Educational Institutions 🤝
Fuhua Primary School organised a National Photography Competition themed ‘Sustainable Singapore’ from April to May 2018, to encourage primary school students to promote environmental conservation through the use of photography.
PacificLight organised the Create8 Sustainability Art, Essay and Video Competitions, which reached out to primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges and Institutes of Higher Learning respectively. The winning artworks and top 3 videos will be shown at the Year of Climate Action Appreciation Lunch.
Tzu Chi Foundation opened a new Eco Awareness Centre in September 2018, which aims to promote environmental protection, and educate visitors on how they can live an eco-friendly lifestyle.