Parliamentary reply by SM Teo Chee Hean on socio-economic impact of climate change in Singapore
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2021
Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Prime Minister (a) beyond studies on urban heat vulnerability, whether there are Government-initiated studies conducted on the socio-economic impact of climate change in Singapore for the next five years and beyond; and (b) if so, whether these studies and findings can be made publicly available.
Mr Teo Chee Hean (for the Prime Minister):
The impact of climate change is far reaching. The change in global weather patterns can cause second and third order effects. The Government has regularly highlighted these effects in its annual updates to Parliament during Budget, in answers to questions from Members of this House, and most notably in 2019 when the wide-ranging and long-term impact of climate change was addressed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Rally. Detailed reports in conformity with our international obligations are also available, such as Singapore’s Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy and Singapore’s latest Biennial Update Report submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in March and December 2020 respectively.
These publicly available reports and updates provide information on the strategies and steps that the Government is taking to address the social and economic impacts of climate change on our people. Apart from urban heat, these studies and strategies cover areas such as rainfall, coastal inundation and protection, and food and energy security. These steps take into account the needs of all segments of our population, including the low-income and the vulnerable.
For example, measures to mitigate our emissions exact a cost on households and the economy. To minimise this cost burden for the low income, the Government has introduced incentives to support lower-income households in purchasing more energy efficient appliances. To help households adjust to the impact of the carbon tax on their electricity and gas expenses, eligible HDB households are given an additional $20 GST Voucher – U-Save on top of the regular U-Save rebate each year from 2019 to 2021. Eligible households living in smaller HDB flats benefit more as they receive a larger quantum of U-Save rebates, and typically have smaller annual utilities bills.