Climate change is a global challenge that requires a global response.
As a small, low-lying city-state with one of the world’s most open economies, Singapore is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We are committed to a multilateral, rules-based solution to this challenge, and actively support international negotiations on this front. Singapore ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997, acceded to the Kyoto Protocol in 2006, and also ratified the amendments on the second commitment period (from 2012 to 2020) of the Kyoto Protocol in 2014. At the UNFCCC meeting (COP-21) in Paris on 12 December 2015, countries adopted the Paris Agreement, a universal and legally-binding agreement on post-2020 climate action. On 22 April 2016, Singapore joined 174 other countries to sign the Agreement at the signature ceremony organised by the United Nations Secretary-General in New York. Singapore ratified the Agreement on 21 September 2016 in New York together with 30 other countries, bringing us past the first threshold of 55 Parties required for its entry into force. The second and final threshold is that Parties should account for at least 55 percent of global emissions.
Although Singapore accounts for less than 0.2 percent of global carbon emissions, we have made significant efforts to reduce our emissions. About 95 percent of our electricity is generated from natural gas – the cleanest form of fossil fuel, and we have implemented policies to cap vehicle growth and manage vehicular emissions. Our small size, however, limits our ability to draw on alternative energy such as solar, wind or nuclear. Nonetheless, we firmly believe that it is important for all countries to contribute to global efforts to combat climate change, with each doing its best based on principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities and national circumstances.
Singapore also strongly believes in contributing through training and capacity-building, so that fellow developing countries can take effective action on climate change. Singapore provides technical assistance bilaterally, as well as jointly with other countries and international organisations. We established a dedicated Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) programme under the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP) in 2012, with the aim of sharing our experiences on adopting sustainable solutions for cities and building resilience to climate change. We have trained almost 11,000 developing country officials under SDCC programmes alone.
SINGAPORE'S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
Building on strategies earlier reflected in the National Climate Change Strategy 2012 and Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, Singapore launched our Climate Action Plan in July 2016. The first part “A Climate-Resilient Singapore, for a Sustainable Future” details our plans to adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as in coastal protection and infrastructure. The second part “Take Action Today, for a Carbon-Efficient Singapore” explains the key tenets of our approach to reduce carbon emissions up to 2030, which include: (i) improving energy efficiency; (ii) reducing carbon emissions from power generation; (iii) developing and demonstrating cutting-edge low-carbon technologies; and (iv) responding through the collective action of government agencies, individuals, businesses and the community. These steps outlined in the Climate Action Plan go towards fulfilling Singapore’s climate pledge (nationally determined contribution or NDC) under the UNFCCC. In July 2015, we announced our target of reducing emissions intensity by 36 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilising emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. In 2009, we announced our pledge to reduce emissions by 16 percent below business-as-usual levels by 2020.
More information on Singapore’s Whole-of-Government efforts on climate change can be found on the National Climate Change Secretariat, Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office (NCCS) website.