Parliamentary reply by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean on Singapore’s climate strategy impact on low-income groups
THIRTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
THURSDAY, 5 MARCH 2020
Mr Louis Ng:
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether the National Climate Change Secretariat has conducted a study on the impact and mitigation factors of climate change on low-income groups; (b) if so, what are the results of the study; and (c) if not, whether it will consider conducting such a study.
Mr Teo Chee Hean (for the Prime Minister):
Our strategies for climate action take into account the needs of all stakeholders, including the low-income and the vulnerable.
Our range of adaptation and mitigation measures is designed to be inclusive. The measures aim to minimise the adverse effects that climate change could have on the economy, society and on our daily lives.
For example, the Government has been improving the liveability of our public housing estates through novel ways of weaving greenery into our estates and towns, which reduces temperatures while improving air quality. HDB flats are also designed to maximise cross-ventilation, thereby reducing reliance on air-conditioning which is a large contributor to household utility bills. The recently announced HDB Green Towns Programme will further enable reduction in energy consumption and cool our HDB towns. These sustainability measures ensure that the impact of climate change on all residents, including low-income groups, are minimised.
The Government also ensures that cost of mitigation measures is minimised for households. As recently announced, the Government will introduce 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.