Budget debate: Sentosa to become carbon-neutral destination by 2030

The Sentosa Development Corporation will identify and work with technology partners to testbed sustainable technologies and concepts on Sentosa.
The Sentosa Development Corporation will identify and work with technology partners to testbed sustainable technologies and concepts on Sentosa.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Sentosa will be transformed into a carbon-neutral destination by 2030, as part of its long-term sustainability plan.

Announcing this in Parliament on Thursday (March 4) during a debate on the Government's sustainability plans, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said the move is part of Singapore's efforts to capture opportunities in the green economy and in preparation for the rebound in global tourism.

In the future, tourists would be more interested in sustainable travel options, such as eco-friendly hotels and attractions, he said.

The Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) said in a press release that it will identify and work with technology partners to testbed sustainable technologies and concepts on Sentosa. It will also engage some 200 businesses within the resort island to work towards its carbon-neutral ambitions.

Among its key priorities are to decarbonise energy systems in Sentosa, reduce food waste and introduce green travel options.

SDC and state investor Temasek have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to, among other things, identify opportunities to test solutions to lower the island's carbon footprint. The partnership will also explore new ways to deploy cooling solutions on Sentosa and minimise waste sent to Singapore's incineration plants.

SDC chief executive Thien Kwee Eng outlined the company's commitment to protect the island's biodiversity and heritage, and said: "Sustainability is a key priority and integral design principle in SDC's journey to create great guest experiences and safeguard Sentosa's value proposition for generations to come."

The island's businesses, including hotels and attractions, will also be engaged in a carbon profiling initiative to guide future carbon mitigation efforts.

Sentosa's carbon neutrality goal builds on its past sustainability efforts, including engaging local enterprises through Enterprise Singapore's (ESG) sustainability open innovation challenge.

More details will be shared later in the year.

Adopting sustainability mindset, green sectors

Besides individuals adjusting their lifestyles, corporates and industries too must make sustainability a habit, Mr Chan said.

ESG's Enterprise Sustainability Programme will help build a strong breed of local enterprises that can harness sustainability as a competitive advantage, he said. More details on the programme will be out later this year.

"As we commit ourselves to a greener future, we must also grow green, by seizing new opportunities in the green economy," the minister said.

Traditionally energy-intensive sectors such as petrochemicals and agri-tech can achieve breakthroughs in carbon and energy efficiency through innovation, he said.

The Investment Allowances for Emissions Reduction scheme, previously known as the Investment Allowance for Energy Efficiency scheme, will be enhanced with further details to be shared later this year, Mr Chan added.

More green growth sectors are also expected to be in Singapore's future industry mix, he said, citing green financing and carbon services as examples.

Singapore is also attracting companies to anchor their research and development activities in Singapore under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Plan 2025, and endeavours to help others overcome their sustainability constraints both regionally and globally.

Singaporeans can also take advantage of these bright spots by upskilling and reskilling themselves to be better placed to capture these new opportunities and jobs created, Mr Chan said.