Singapore pledges new 2030 greenhouse gas targets to limit climate change

Singapore now accounts for just 0.11 per cent of global emissions, even though it contributes 2.2 per cent of global trade. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore has outlined two new environmental targets for the country for the year 2030, in line with global plans to limit climate change and its impact on the world.

The Government has pledged that Singapore's greenhouse gas emissions will peak around 2030 at the equivalent of about 65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, even if the economy continues to grow after that year.

The country will also become more efficient in its economic activity, and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to achieve each dollar of gross domestic product (GDP).

In 2005, it created the equivalent of about 0.176kg of carbon dioxide for each GDP dollar. It aims to lower this to 0.113kg per dollar by 2030, a reduction of about 36 per cent.

Singapore now accounts for just 0.11 per cent of global emissions, even though it contributes 2.2 per cent of global trade.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change, said: "For a very small country with limited alternative energy resources, the stabilisation of our emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030 requires serious efforts by everyone.

"We have to strive for higher levels of energy efficiency, including deployment of best-in-class technologies."

The new targets were submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Friday as Singapore's contribution to the global fight against climate change.

The UNFCCC is a framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle climate change. It has near universal membership, with 195 nations and the European Union having ratified the convention, including Singapore.

Parties to the convention are supposed to submit their pledged contributions ahead of a meeting in Paris in December this year to develop a new global climate agreement.

This agreement is for the post-2020 period, to further the UN's goal of limiting global warming to 2 deg C more than pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Scientists have said that, given current emission trends, the earth is on track for double that increase, which is likely to cause disastrous droughts, storms, floods and rising sea levels.

Even before the new targets, Singapore had been taking action to reduce its emissions. If the country had done nothing to become greener after 2005, it would have emitted the greenhouse gas equivalent of 77.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by the year 2020.

In 2009, it pledged to reduce its actual emissions by 7 to 11 per cent below this projection, and to increase the commitment to 16 per cent if there was a legally-binding global agreement on climate change.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.