Singapore issues national climate change strategy

“Our vision for Singapore is a climate resilient global city that is well positioned for green growth...We need a whole-of-nation effort – involving the people, the private and the public sectors to realize our vision.” -- Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean

Singapore, the newest addition to the global C40 network, has recently published its national climate change strategy, “Climate Change & Singapore: Challenges. Opportunities. Partnerships.” The comprehensive document reflects the key elements of Singapore’s efforts on this issue – preparing for the uncertainties and impact of climate change, seizing opportunities for green growth, and supporting the transition to a lower emission economy. 

Singapore Erp Gantry 8.14.12 (800x532)

Photo caption: Electronic Road Pricing manages traffic demand on Singapore's roads. Photo Credit: Ministry of Transport (Singapore).

Singapore has been a longstanding leader on environmental issues. It created its Ministry of the Environment in 1972, making it one of the first countries to form a Ministry dedicated to creating and sustaining a good environment for its people. Today, climate governance is strong at the highest levels: long-term planning, policies and action are guided and coordinated by the National Climate Change Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Office and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change.

As a low-lying island that is densely populated, Singapore is focused on efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as flooding and severe weather events, through integrated land use planning, water management and investment in research and infrastructure. Reducing emissions is another core aspect of its climate strategy, building upon significant efforts to date, including sourcing 80 percent of its fuel for electricity generation from natural gas and capping vehicle growth through regulation and taxes. Singapore is also studying how to stabilise its emissions over the long term. 

The report indicates that these efforts have delivered results: Singapore now ranks 123rd out of 137 countries in emissions per GDP. But there is commitment to do more, and the city-state is on course to reduce emissions by 7-11 percent from 2020 business-as-usual levels, or by 16 percent if there is a legally binding global agreement. Supporting green growth will also be important, the report says, and the country is now investing heavily in resource efficient technologies that can be used domestically as well as exported. 

The government is well aware that delivering on its climate strategy will require the engagement and collective efforts all members of Singapore’s society. Here, there is evidence of great promise: national surveys held in late 2011 show that 86 percent of participants felt responsible for helping to address climate change and 74 percent indicated concern over the issue. 

To learn more about Singapore’s efforts, read the full climate change strategy here.