Good Progress Made on the Singapore Green Plan 2030 as Government Accelerates Decarbonisation and Sustainability Efforts
JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY NCCS, MSE, MTI, MOT, MND AND MOE: GOOD PROGRESS MADE ON THE SINGAPORE GREEN PLAN 2030 AS GOVERNMENT ACCELERATES DECARBONISATION AND SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS
At the Committee of Supply today, the Government provided a progress update on the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Launched in February 2021, the Green Plan seeks to galvanise a whole-of-nation movement and advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development. Spearheaded by five ministries – the Ministries of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE), Trade and Industry (MTI), Transport (MOT), National Development (MND), and Education (MOE) – and supported by the whole of Government, the Green Plan charts ambitious and concrete targets for the rest of this decade.
Opening the Joint Segment on the Green Plan, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change, Mr Teo Chee Hean, outlined the impetus behind the decisive move to raise our ambition to achieve net zero emissions by or around mid-century. He explained that the outcomes of COP-26 had provided greater clarity on carbon market rules, and increased global investments in decarbonisation technologies will enable Singapore to achieve net zero emissions earlier. SM Teo emphasised that it is necessary and practicable to align with the global call for net zero now. This will also establish our economy’s competitive edge early in a low-carbon future, and create new growth opportunities in industry, services, and finance. This decisive move will chart the path to a cleaner, greener Singapore for future generations, with improved job prospects, a sustainable environment, and a brighter future. There will be consultations with industry and citizen stakeholders before finalising a specific net-zero year. SM Teo called on all Singaporeans to support this effort, and do their part as we advance on this sustainability journey collectively as a nation.
SM Teo explained that the revised carbon tax levels will send the appropriate price signal across the economy, and shape business decisions and individual consumption habits. The Government will use the tax revenue collected to help households and businesses transition to a low-carbon future. The other key measures under the Green Plan will also be enhanced to enable our move to net zero.
Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, outlined the Government’s efforts to empower, invest in and partner companies, people and communities in the green transition. To help the manufacturing sector, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), mitigate the impact of a higher carbon tax, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will raise the maximum grant support for energy efficient technologies under the Energy Efficiency Fund from 50 per cent to 70 per cent of qualifying costs. This would enable companies to build capabilities and decarbonise early by adopting energy efficient technologies. (See Annex A: Enhancements to the Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) – Energy Efficient Technologies Grant.)
The Government will continue to invest in science and technology to unlock possibilities for a low-carbon future. $220 million has been allocated for research and development (R&D) in resource circularity and water technologies under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025) Urban Solutions and Sustainability domain. (See Annex B: RIE2025 Funding.) The Government will also continue to engage and work with partners to involve the whole of society, and develop shared ownership for our sustainability movement and our environment. Since the launch of the SG Eco Fund in November 2020, 105 individuals and organisations have been awarded $6.6 million in funding to support the co-creation of solutions with and for the community. (See Annex C: SG Eco Fund’s Second Grant Call.)
Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Trade and Industry, articulated the Government’s plans to transition Singapore to a low-carbon economy, through the Government’s Singapore Energy Transition plans and Green Economy Strategy. In greening Singapore’s economy, it is critical to decarbonise the energy sector, as consumers seek greener forms of electricity to reduce their carbon footprint. The Government will continue to decarbonise the energy sector, by enhancing the energy and carbon efficiency of natural gas power plants, accelerating solar deployment, working with our partners to develop the regional grid, and exploring low-carbon energy solutions.
Minister Gan highlighted that the global transition to a low-carbon economy brings about new opportunities in areas such as green finance, carbon services and trading, and sustainable tourism. The Government will continue to partner businesses and workers, and foster a conducive environment for them to adapt to and take advantage of these opportunities. He added that Singapore’s strong innovation ecosystem positions us well to develop new solutions in the green economy, such as in low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage. He called on key stakeholders, including industry and researchers, to collaborate and advance the research and development of low-carbon solutions. While some of these solutions will take time to mature and become commercially viable, acting early can help catalyse Singapore and the region’s decarbonisation efforts.
Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport, announced measures to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the land transport sector, with a target of reducing peak emissions by 80 per cent by or around mid-century. He also announced that every HDB town will be Electric Vehicles (EV)-Ready by 2025, with LTA launching the first large-scale tender for charging points at HDB carparks later this year. LTA will plan and coordinate the upgrading of electrical infrastructure for EV charging. New legislation to ensure safe and reliable EV charging will also be introduced, with public consultation set for later this year.
The Government will also continue to work closely with various stakeholders to electrify more vehicle segments. Minister Iswaran announced LTA’s commitment to electrifying half of Singapore’s public bus fleet by 2030. LTA will also extend the statutory lifespan of electric taxis from eight to 10 years, and at least 50 per cent of Singapore’s taxi fleet will be electric taxis by 2030. Most importantly, the Government will continue to promote public transport and active mobility, which are the greenest ways to commute. (See Annex D: Reducing Peak Land Transport Emissions by 80%.)
Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development, announced measures to support the transition towards a low-carbon built environment, and the development of growth opportunities in this area. The Government has committed an additional $45 million of funding for the enhanced Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) programme, to support the development, test-bedding and deployment of green technologies and solutions for buildings. New initiatives under the HDB Green Towns Programme will also bring the community in to better support the sustainability of our HDB towns.
As we continue to transform Singapore into a City in Nature, Minister Lee shared key progress updates in our greening journey. He also shared ambitious plans for how we will continue to leverage R&D to innovate and find new solutions to improve urban sustainability, by investing an additional $64 million into the ‘City in Nature’ and ‘Greater Sustainability’ pillars under the Cities of Tomorrow R&D programme.
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, highlighted the important role of our Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) in making sustainability a competitive advantage for Singapore. He shared how IHLs are making sustainability a strategic priority in their plans and are leveraging their research and innovation capabilities to develop new products and solutions, in partnership with and support of local industry. He also spoke on how the IHLs are developing the skills and competencies among graduates and the workforce so that they can access new green opportunities. (See Annex E: Strengthening Our Contributions towards the Green Economy and Empowering the Next Generation of Sustainability Leaders.)
Updates on the key targets and initiatives of the Government, in support of our enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution, Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy, and the Green Plan are summarised in Annex F.