National Climate Change Secretariat
- Consultation Period:
- 05 Sep 2022 - 26 Sep 2022
- Closed - Summary of Responses
Feedback Received From Public Consultation On Singapore’s Raised Climate Ambition
The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) conducted an online public consultation through REACH on Singapore’s climate ambition from 5 to 26 September 2022. We received 490 responses from members of the public and representatives of businesses and NGOs. The breakdown by age group is shown in Figure 1. Prior to this public consultation exercise, the Government had engaged more than 1,200 stakeholders from various segments of society, including youths and representatives from businesses, green groups, academia and NGOs, under the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
Figure 1: 73% of respondents were aged 39 or below.
2. A summary of the feedback from the public consultation can be found below. The Government will take the suggestions received into account as Singapore implements its revised Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) and 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
3. 66% of all respondents felt that the proposed enhancement to Singapore’s climate ambition to achieve net-zero by 2050 was "not sufficiently ambitious”, while 26% agreed that it was “just right” (Figure 2). Those who indicated that Singapore was “not sufficiently ambitious” were asked to propose a suitable net-zero year. 126 respondents specified a year between 2040 and 2049. In response to the question on whether Singapore should enhance its NDC, 62% of the 3041 respondents that responded to the question agreed that there was scope to enhance Singapore’s 2030 NDC (Figure 3).
Figure 2: 66% of respondents said that Singapore’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050 was not sufficiently ambitious. 195 respondents further suggested an alternative year, of which 126 respondents specified a year between 2040 and 2049.
Figure 3: 62% of 304 responses agreed that Singapore should enhance its 2030 NDC.
4. 94% of all respondents agreed that while there may be trade-offs or inconveniences, they were willing to make a contribution and play their part to help Singapore realise its net-zero ambitions (Figure 4).
Figure 4: 94% of all respondents agreed that they were willing to play their part in helping Singapore achieve its net-zero ambition.
Summary of Suggestions Raised in Qualitative Feedback
Respondents provided the following feedback:
(I) Catalyse Business Transformation
5. Pivot away from emissions-intensive industries. Singapore can diversify its economy and pivot away from emissions-intensive industries such as the Energy and Chemicals sector. The Government can set concrete targets for reducing sectoral emissions, or to increase the output of sustainable products from Jurong Island.
6. Businesses to implement decarbonisation plans. Businesses can put in place decarbonisation plans, commit to net zero targets such as the Science Based Targets initiative, and factor Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into their business models, for instance, by incorporating a carbon cost in their financial analyses, or tying ESG outcomes to executive pay. Businesses can encourage employees to adopt environmentally friendly behaviours. They can also pivot to offer more sustainable goods and services, such as reducing packaging, which would make it easier for individuals to live a lower-carbon lifestyle. The Government can put in place both incentives — such as grants and subsidies — and disincentives to nudge companies in the right direction. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) might particularly require assistance with the green transition.
7. Encourage emissions reporting. Businesses can steer clear of greenwashing practices by strengthening their carbon monitoring and reporting practices for greater accountability. Companies can also look into measuring and disclosing their Scope 3 emissions. The Government can consider making the reporting requirements for businesses mandatory through legislation.
8. Provide support for workers in a green transition. The Government can reskill and provide support to affected workers, as part of broader efforts to build a workforce ready for the green economy.
9. Make available green financing. The Government and financial institutions can cease funding local and overseas fossil fuel projects, divest from fossil fuels, and provide financing for businesses looking to transition away from fossil fuels.
(II) Invest in Low-Carbon Technologies
10. Invest in clean energy. Singapore can ramp up investment in and deployment of alternative energy technologies, for instance, solar, by incentivising private home and building owners to install them. Singapore can reconsider nuclear power as a strategy for both sustainability and supply resilience, given recent advances in technology.
11. Encourage green R&D. The Government can partner businesses to accelerate Singapore’s decarbonisation by investing in R&D of novel green technologies.
(III) Pursue Effective International Collaboration
12. Import electricity. Recent developments to import clean energy from Malaysia and Laos are a step in the right direction, and the Government can accelerate its efforts to develop the ASEAN power grid to reduce Singapore’s dependence on natural gas. Electricity imports can be held to Singapore’s standards and regulations, so that green projects carried out overseas do not adversely affect the local community and environment. Singapore can implement an impact assessment framework for such projects.
13. Purchase carbon credits as last resort. Singapore's plans to develop capabilities as a carbon services hub are a move in the right direction. Singapore can prioritise achieving actual reduction in absolute emissions first, and purchase carbon credits as a last resort.
(IV) Adopt Low-Carbon Practices
14. Embrace nature. Singapore can look into more nature-based solutions, and prioritise preserving the country’s forests, mangroves and other natural habitats, which can contribute to carbon storage.
15. Promote green commutes. Singapore can continue to improve and electrify the public transport system and commit to phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Singapore can ramp up electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and the energy grid to support the growth of EVs.
16. Encourage green infrastructure. Singapore can enhance its regulations to reduce building energy consumption, such as by raising energy-efficiency requirements for buildings and setting a minimum temperature for air-conditioning. Singapore can also consider the preservation and retrofit of older buildings where possible, in lieu of new construction projects, given substantial amounts of embodied carbon in building materials like cement and steel.
17. Individuals to embrace green lifestyles. Individuals can adopt a lower-carbon lifestyle by cutting down on meat consumption, taking more public transport, reducing consumption, and supporting green businesses. Even though individual carbon footprints are dwarfed by industry emissions, shifts in consumer behaviour can help send a positive signal to the Government and private sector. Individuals can also participate more actively in conversations on climate change, and initiate discussions and ground-up approaches to support Singapore’s journey to a low-carbon future.
18. Government to catalyse green lifestyles. The Government can facilitate and catalyse green lifestyles. For instance, it can strengthen the local agri-food scene to reduce emissions from food imports while increasing Singapore’s supply chain resilience. The Government can also consider a ban on single-use plastics, and provide more subsidies for the installation of smart devices to improve household energy efficiency. To accelerate societal change, Singapore can increase publicity and education on climate change by including sustainability in the school curriculum and encouraging climate-friendly behaviours.
19. The Government can take the lead and continue public consultation. The Government’s efforts under GreenGov.SG are a step in the right direction. It can continue to lead by example, and consult the public on its climate change policies and plans. There can be greater transparency on data, analyses and trade-offs considered.
(V) Right-Pricing Carbon to Shape Business Decisions and Consumer Behaviour
20. Calibrate the carbon tax. The Government’s decision to raise the carbon tax progressively to S$50–$80/tCO2e by 2030 is in the right direction. It can consider further increasing the carbon price, and lowering the emissions threshold of 25ktCO2e for industrial facilities to include smaller emitters. It can also consider a progressive system of taxation in which larger emitters, and those with greater means, should bear higher costs. For transparency, the Government can disclose carbon tax allowances given to companies, particularly those that contribute significantly to the nation’s carbon emissions. It can also consult the public and disclose its criteria for determining eligible carbon credits to offset carbon tax.
21. Support for transition. The Government can provide more support to households, especially vulnerable and low-income segments of society, to ensure they are not adversely affected by the carbon tax and other climate change policies.
22. NCCS wishes to thank all individuals, businesses and organisations for their feedback. Members of the public who wish to share their submission publicly on the NCCS website may do so via the following link by 30 November 2022: https://go.gov.sg/publish-my-feedback-climate2022.
1 186 survey respondents did not answer this optional question.
Public Consultation on Singapore’s Climate Ambition
1. The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO-SG), invites members of the public to contribute views on how Singapore can work towards becoming a low-carbon country as we consider raising our long-term ambition to achieve net zero by 2050. The views will be taken into consideration when Singapore makes a formal revision to our Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) and 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) before the end of 2022.
2. Climate change is a real and existential threat. Latest findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Sixth Assessment Report assessed that the impacts of climate change are more apparent and will affect us more severely than previously thought. Although Singapore contributes only 0.1% of the global emissions, we are disproportionately affected by its effects as a low-lying island city state.
A decisive move to net zero
3. Singapore is an early and committed contributor to global climate action. In 2020, Singapore submitted our enhanced 2030 NDC and LEDS. Since then, there have been important developments globally, including at COP-26 in 2021 where the Glasgow Climate Pact was agreed upon. As announced at Budget 2022, we intend to achieve net zero emissions by or around mid-century, which is a significant improvement on our previously submitted LEDS to halve emissions from our 2030 peak to 33 MtCO2e by 2050, with a view to achieving net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century. In addition, we also announced at Budget 2022 that we would review our 2030 NDC which currently pledges to peak emissions at 65 MtCO2e around 2030. This will bring us in line with the Glasgow Climate Pact.
Seeking views on Singapore’s climate ambition
4. Members of the public are invited to contribute views on Singapore’s climate ambition as we consider reaching net zero by 2050:
a. Is net zero by 2050 too ambitious, just right, or not sufficiently ambitious?
b. Should we enhance Singapore’s 2030 NDC which currently pledges to peak emissions at 65 MtCO2e around 2030?
c. In our transition to a low-carbon country, in which areas including Government, businesses, communities, and citizens is Singapore doing well and in which areas can Singapore do more?
Global momentum for climate action
5. Many countries around the world have pledged to reach net zero by various timelines. More than 60 countries including Australia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam have pledged to achieve net zero by 2050. Other countries such as Indonesia and China have pledged to achieve net zero by 2060, and India has pledged to achieve net zero by 2070.
6. As more countries and companies made net-zero commitments, this will spur greater investment in low-carbon solutions, making them technologically and economically viable earlier.
7. The Paris Agreement Article 6 rulebook for international carbon markets was also finalised, which allows Singapore to access global mitigation opportunities through international carbon credits and provides an additional option for us to decarbonise. These international developments give Singapore the confidence that we can more effectively find solutions to address our alternative energy constraints and move to net zero earlier.
Opportunities and Trade-offs
8. Building on Singapore’s long-standing emphasis on sustainable development, this decisive move to net zero will ensure that we do our part in the global fight against climate change. In addition, this move will position Singapore to take advantage of the positive global trends in sustainable financing and corporate net zero targets to make Singapore an attractive place for green economic activities in industry, services, and finance. In re-positioning our economy and establishing our competitive edge early, this will allow us to grow many good jobs for Singaporeans and enhance Singapore’s value proposition in the future low-carbon global economy.
9. Singapore needs to be prepared for a global, low-carbon transition. At the same time however, raising our climate ambitions comes with costs and trade-offs that must be managed. For companies and workers, there will be disruptions to existing business models as the world moves collectively to a low-carbon future. Companies will need to reorient themselves to grow in a more sustainable manner or pursue new areas of growth that are less carbon intensive, while workers may have to acquire new skills to stay relevant. Individuals will need to change our personal habits, by consuming and wasting less, reducing energy consumption at home such as using energy efficient appliances and less air-conditioning, and taking cleaner forms of transport such as embracing a walk, cycle and ride lifestyle.
10. As a small country with limited alternative energy sources, land and manpower, our trade-offs continue to be much starker than what most other countries face. Many of the measures that would bring us to net zero are contingent on effective international cooperation, as well as the maturity of decarbonisation technologies. Some examples include the import of renewable energy, the availability of Carbon Capture and Storage sites and the sourcing of green hydrogen.
Our Mitigation Strategy
11. Nonetheless, Singapore is already taking decisive steps towards transforming our country for a low-carbon future. This section outlines three notable areas: (I) implementing an effective carbon tax regime, (II) transforming our industries and economy, and (III) decarbonising our energy grid. Further mitigation measures that we are taking can be found here. The Government welcomes suggestions from the public, as Singapore embarks on this whole-of-nation transition.
12. Singapore implemented a carbon tax, the first carbon pricing scheme in Southeast Asia, on 1 January 2019. A carbon tax provides a broad-based price signal so that businesses and individuals will be able to internalise the costs of carbon. The carbon tax level is set at S$5/tCO2e in the first instance from 2019 to 2023, to give our businesses time to adjust. To move decisively to achieve our enhanced climate ambition, the carbon tax will be raised to $25/tCO2e in 2024 and 2025, and $45/tCO2e in 2026 and 2027, with a view to reaching $50-$80/tCO2e by 2030. This will provide a strong price signal and impetus for businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint in line with national climate goals.
13. Working with our industries to transform our economy is an important component of the journey towards net zero. For example, the Sustainable Jurong Island Report outlines plans to transform Jurong Island, the heart of Singapore’s Energy & Chemicals sector, into a sustainable energy and chemicals park for a low-carbon future. The report outlines aspirations for the Energy & Chemicals sector to increase its output of sustainable products, such as bio-based fuels and chemicals, and pyrolysis oil from plastics recycling, by four times from 2019 levels. The sector will also enable sustainable production in the Energy & Chemicals sector, for example through Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage, increasing energy efficiency, and use of renewable energy in company operations. The report outlines aspirations for the Energy & Chemicals sector to achieve more than six million tonnes of carbon abatement per annum from low-carbon solutions by 2050. Beyond the Energy & Chemicals sector, you can find out more on other measures for the industry sector here.
14. Power generation is another major source of carbon emissions. To decarbonise the power grid, Singapore will harness and tap on 4 switches to transform our energy supply. First, solar remains the most promising renewable energy source for Singapore, and energy storage systems allow us to counter the intermittency of renewable energy sources such as solar. Singapore aims to deploy at least 2 gigawatt-peak (GWp) of solar by 2030 which could generate enough energy to meet the annual electricity needs of 350,000 households. We are deploying 200MW/200MWh of energy storage systems to address solar intermittency and enhance grid resilience. The second switch is tapping on regional power grids to import up to 4 GW of low-carbon electricity imports by 2035. This is expected to make up around 30% of Singapore’s electricity supply in 2035. To prepare for future electricity imports, we are conducting trials to assess and refine the technical and regulatory frameworks for importing electricity into Singapore. For instance, Singapore has begun to import up to 100MW of renewable power from Laos. Third, emerging low-carbon alternatives, such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage and hydrogen technologies, will further reduce our overall emissions. Lastly, natural gas is currently our main fuel for generating electricity, making up 95% of our electricity supply. It is the cleanest form of fossil fuel and will continue to be the main fuel source for Singapore in the near future as we scale up our other renewable switches.
15. Finally, the journey to a net zero Singapore requires everyone to play a part under the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Since its launch in 2021, the Green Plan has engaged over 25,000 Singaporeans. A whole-of-nation effort and a living plan, it aims to galvanise every Singaporean to contribute to the movement. It charts ambitious and concrete targets to advance Singapore’s agenda on sustainable development. Activities under the Green Plan include the OneMillionTrees initiative, the Youth Action Challenge, the Green Plan Conversations, and more. You can find out more about the Green Plan here.
We welcome your feedback and views
16. We invite members of the public to provide their feedback on Singapore’s climate ambition by 26 September 2022. Please submit your views by visiting https://go.gov.sg/climate-consultation-22-feedback or clicking the button below.