Singapore’s Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
Singapore intends to reduce its Emissions Intensity by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030
Singapore has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat (see Appendix I). This takes into account the UNFCCC request for Parties to submit their INDCs “well in advance” of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris in December 2015 so as to facilitate the development of a new global climate agreement for the post-2020 period.
Singapore’s INDC states its intention to reduce its Emissions Intensity1 by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030, and to stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. It reflects Singapore’s support towards global efforts to achieve peaking of global and national greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.
Currently, Singapore’s emissions intensity is ranked 113th out of 140 countries2 globally, i.e. among the best 20% of countries (see Appendix II). To achieve a 36% reduction in Emissions Intensity by 2030, Singapore will build on its past and ongoing efforts to achieve economic growth in a carbon efficient way. Singapore had pledged in 2009 to reduce its emissions by 16% below business-as-usual levels (BAU-16%) by 2020 if there is a legally binding global agreement. In the meantime, Singapore is taking actions to reduce its emissions to achieve its unconditional pledge of BAU-7 to 11% by 2020. For example, it has progressively switched from fuel oil to natural gas, the cleanest form of fossil fuel, for power generation. Today, over 90% of electricity is generated from natural gas.
“Singapore plans to further reduce our emissions intensity as part of international efforts to address climate change. For a very small country with limited alternative energy options, the stabilisation of our emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030 requires serious efforts by everyone. We have to strive for higher levels of energy efficiency, including deployment of best-in-class technologies”, said DPM Teo Chee Hean, Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC).
Singapore’s pledge is a stretch target, given early actions to develop in a sustainable manner, and limited access to alternative energy options. The intention to stabilise and peak emissions is significant, as this will entail efforts by businesses, especially those with energy intensive operations, to be more energy and carbon efficient. Households and individuals will also need to make more climate-friendly choices in going about their daily activities. There will be a stronger impetus to harness green growth opportunities from continued investment in research and development in energy efficiency innovations, as well as attracting and growing clean technology activities.
The Government will adopt a multi-pronged approach to reduce Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors (see Appendix III). The initiatives that have been introduced so far include the Energy Conservation Act that mandates energy management practices for large energy users, as well as an energy efficiency financing scheme. Other measures to encourage companies and households to invest in and use energy efficient equipment or technologies include the Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET) or the Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe), environmental sustainability regulations under the Building Control Act, BCA Green Mark certification for buildings, Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS) and Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for household appliances, and the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) for cars and taxis.
“The climate challenge also means greater global demand for clean technology and growth in green jobs. Singapore’s early adoption of environmentally responsible practices and technology, as well as our continuing investment into research and development, and environmentally friendly urban solutions, provides a strong foundation for us to pro-actively respond to the challenge of climate change and the opportunities it offers”, said DPM Teo Chee Hean.
Details of new measures or enhancements to existing incentive schemes will be announced by the respective agencies when ready. The Government will continue to seek feedback on new measures before they are introduced and sufficient lead time will be given to businesses and households to adjust to the new requirements.
Climate change is a global challenge and it requires a global solution where all countries play their part. Although Singapore contributes only about 0.11% of global emissions, we are fully committed to reducing carbon emissions and to supporting the UNFCCC process for an international agreement on climate change. Singapore’s INDC is a demonstration of our commitment to UNFCCC objectives.
1 Emissions Intensity refers to the amount of greenhouse gas emitted per dollar GDP. It is a measure of how efficient a country is in terms of greenhouse gas emissions relative to its economic activities.
2 Source: IEA Key World Energy Statistics, 2014. Comparisons based on available carbon emissions per US$GDP data.