2 in 3 say Singapore’s 2050 net-zero goal ‘not sufficiently ambitious’: Survey

Some of the 490 respondents to a government survey believe that Singapore can achieve net-zero emissions as much as a decade earlier than its 2050 target. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore should adopt more ambitious climate targets than even its updated goals, a government survey has found, with two-thirds of respondents saying the Republic’s aim of reaching net zero by 2050 is “not sufficiently ambitious”.

The results are from an online public consultation by the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) on Singapore’s climate ambition. It was done through government feedback unit Reach from Sept 5 to 26, and was conducted before the Government announced its updated climate targets this week.

The Government confirmed on Tuesday that Singapore aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong also announced a tougher 2030 emissions target, in which the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions would reach about 60 million tonnes in 2030 after peaking earlier.

The previous target was to peak emissions at about 65 million tonnes in 2030. The targets form a key part of Singapore’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement. 

To reach enhanced climate targets, 94 per cent of respondents said they were willing to withstand trade-offs and inconveniences.

The online consultation gathered 490 responses from members of the public and representatives of businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Most of the respondents, or 65 per cent, were aged 20 to 39. 

Those who indicated that Singapore was “not sufficiently ambitious” were asked to propose a suitable net-zero year.

Of the close to 200 respondents who suggested an alternative year, a majority chose 2040 to 2044, followed by 2045 to 2049.

Asked whether Singapore should enhance its NDC, more than six in 10 of the 304 respondents who answered this question agreed there was scope to do so. 

Prior to the Reach survey, the Government had engaged more than 1,200 stakeholders from various segments of society, including youth and representatives from businesses, green groups, academia and NGOs, under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the NCCS said in a statement.

Respondents in the Reach survey were also invited to give suggestions on how Singapore could reach its climate emissions. 

Among the suggestions made were for the city state to shift away from emissions-intensive industries such as energy and chemicals, spur emissions reporting through legislation and ramp up investments in renewable energy.

Notably, respondents had asked for carbon credits to be bought only as a last resort, despite Singapore’s plans to become a carbon credit trading hub. The Republic is also the first country in South-East Asia to introduce a carbon price.

A report on the consultation published by NCCS on Tuesday said: “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.”

Participants of the public consultation who agree to share their feedback publicly on the NCCS website may do so via the following link by Nov 30: https://str.sg/wVvR

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