Whole nation must take part for sustained climate action

An oil refinery at Pulau Bukom is seen from Sentosa.
An oil refinery at Pulau Bukom is seen from Sentosa.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Liang Lei, Mr Li Ze Zong and Mr Sean Lim Wei Xin for their views (Reframe narrative to tackle climate change; Make clear how changes to one's routine can benefit the earth; Tougher, quicker action needed and industries must play their part too, all on Aug 21).

Although Singapore contributes only 0.11 per cent of global emissions, we are fully committed to play our part and to support global climate action at various platforms, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Singapore is among the 20 most carbon-efficient countries in the world, based on data from the International Energy Agency.

Under the Paris Agreement, we have pledged to reduce our emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and to peak emissions around 2030.

But tackling climate change is a whole-of-nation effort.

It requires companies, individuals and the Government to work in partnership to contribute to sustained climate action.

The Government has put in place a series of measures to reduce emissions across our economic sectors, such as improving energy efficiency, increasing the use of solar power, greening our transport system and buildings, and deploying low-carbon technology.

Singapore is the first country in South-east Asia to introduce an economy-wide carbon tax at $5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, with no exemptions.

This rate will be reviewed by 2023, with plans to increase it to between $10 and $15 per tonne of emissions by 2030.

Our industries are working to improve their energy and carbon efficiency so as to generate less emissions for each unit of output over time.

An enhanced Industry Energy Efficiency scheme was introduced this year to encourage industrial facilities to be more energy efficient.

From 2021, companies regulated under the Energy Conservation Act must establish energy management systems and regularly assess energy efficiency opportunities.

As a maritime and aviation hub, we are also working with the International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Maritime Organisation to address international transport emissions.

Everyone must and can play a part. For instance, if all Singapore households were to switch one fluorescent light bulb to an LED one, the energy savings could power 1,000 four-room housing units for a day.

We welcome views, through our ongoing public consultation at www.nccs.gov.sg, on how Singapore can be a low-carbon global city-state.

Pamela Lee

Director, Policy and Planning Directorate

National Climate Change Secretariat

Strategy Group, Prime Minister's Office

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2019, with the headline 'Whole nation must take part for sustained climate action'. Print Edition | Subscribe