Speech by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean at COP28 Singapore Pavilion Energy and Decarbonisation Day
Speech by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean at the 28th Conference of the Parties Singapore Pavilion Energy and Decarbonisation Day
Good morning to all of you and welcome to the Pavilion. I am pleased to welcome everyone to the Singapore Pavilion at COP28, and glad that you can join our programme for the Energy and Decarbonisation Day. You may be wondering why as the Coordinating Minister for National Security I am speaking; I also chair Singapore’s Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change.
Our Energy Transition
Energy transition is extremely challenging for Singapore as we are alternative energy disadvantaged. But we are committed to maximising the few domestic options available to us, in particular solar energy, but our small size and urban density mean that domestic energy solutions alone will fall far short of what we need.
Despite these constraints, we are committed to making the energy transition and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We are working closely with international partners on win-win decarbonisation projects, and studying all viable pathways to decarbonisation.
Accelerating Cross-Border Electricity Trading
First, we are working with countries in our region to accelerate cross-border electricity trading. We see great potential for this.
The climate crisis provides much-needed impetus for an ASEAN Power Grid, and this includes undersea cables linking various countries. Since 2022, four ASEAN member states have come together to implement the Lao-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore power integration project, a first-of-its-kind for multilateral cross-border electricity trading. This uses overland cables.
Cross-border electricity trading improves the bankability of renewable energy projects, unleashes the green energy potential in our region, and creates new jobs. An integrated regional system also reduces the costs of grid development across the region and provides energy resilience for all partners in the region, particularly to deal with issues like the intermittency of green energy.
By working together on renewable electricity projects, we can accelerate deployment timelines and unlock a greater supply of low-carbon energy to ensure energy access, security, and resilience to more people in our region.
To fully realise the ASEAN Power Grid, Singapore is currently working on several large-scale cross-border electricity trading projects, to provide the offtake and lead demand. These can form the building blocks for the ASEAN Power Grid, and set us on the path to bringing stable and low-carbon electricity to all in our region.
Later, our panellists will discuss the opportunities and challenges of realising the ASEAN Power Grid, and its integral role in accelerating ASEAN’s decarbonisation journey.
Developing New and Innovative Low-Carbon Solutions
Second, we are developing new and innovative low-carbon solutions to support the decarbonisation of our region in the coming years.
Greening our electricity supply is a crucial way, but it is not the only thing we need to do. Decarbonisation requires us to address emissions from sectors that have traditionally been hard to abate, like the petrochemical sector, and cement, and steel production. This is why we must cast our net wider in the search for low-carbon solutions.
Low-carbon hydrogen is one such example, given its versatility as a clean fuel and industrial feedstock. The technology sits on the cusp of commercial readiness. Scaling hydrogen adoption requires countries to work together on the polices, regulations, and emissions methodologies that will govern global hydrogen supply chains. Singapore launched our National Hydrogen Strategy last year to map out how hydrogen can support our decarbonisation efforts. In May this year, Singapore joined the International Partnership on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy.
Another promising solution that Singapore is looking into is carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS. Our panellists later today will discuss the potential and challenges of CCS in the Asia-Pacific region. There are important conversations needed on the legal and regulatory frameworks to manage regional CCS partnerships.
Singapore is committed to our climate ambition and decarbonisation goals, despite the constraints of our geography and a lack of natural resources. We believe that all countries and organisations, no matter how big or small, have a responsibility to leave behind a greener and more sustainable world for the next generation. And we look forward to working with all our partners and friends around the world to achieve this.
Thank you very much for your presence and have good discussions today.