Forum: Singapore taking range of actions to cut carbon emissions

A factory emits fumes from its chimney in Tuas, on Dec 11, 2018. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

We thank Leroy Cheong Kai Thong for his feedback (Singapore's Third World emissions, Dec 30, 2019).

We agree with him on the importance of practising sustainability, especially with the threat of climate change.

All countries should contribute to global climate action according to their national circumstances.

Using per-capita emissions as an indicator leads to inequitable comparisons between countries with large populations, which contribute more to global emissions, and small countries, that are in reality small emitters.

Such indicators place an unfair burden for climate action on small countries.

Singapore contributes only approximately 0.1 per cent of global emissions and is highly constrained in deploying renewable energy at scale. Still, we are committed to doing our fair share to address climate change.

Based on the 2018 data from the International Energy Agency, Singapore is among the 20 best-performing countries in terms of emissions intensity (emissions per-dollar GDP).

Under the Paris Agreement, we have pledged to further reduce our emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and ultimately cap our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions around 2030.

Singapore has taken significant and broad-ranging actions to reduce our carbon emissions.

These include the switch to natural gas as a cleaner fuel for power generation, introduction of a carbon tax, greater adoption of solar energy, and the greening of our transport system and buildings.

We are also pursuing sustainable production and consumption through circular economy approaches, where materials and resources are retained and reused for as long as possible.

Our Singapore Water Story is one such example where we recycle our used water into Newater.

We are also closing the waste loop by exploring ways to convert residue from waste incineration into Newsand, and trialling its use as a construction material.

The Zero Waste Masterplan, launched last year, outlines key initiatives to better manage the three priority waste streams in Singapore: electronic waste, food waste and packaging waste, including plastics.

We are also investing heavily in research, development, and demonstration, such as in the area of low-carbon technologies, while creating solutions that can be exported globally.

Everyone plays a part. We will continue to work at building a sustainable Singapore for our future generations.

Leonie Lee


Energy and Climate Policy Division

Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline Forum: Singapore taking range of actions to cut carbon emissions. Subscribe