Climate change mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emission of greenhouse gases.
Given our limited potential for alternative energy sources, improving energy efficiency is our key strategy for reducing emissions in all sectors of the economy.
Furthermore, our energy demand is expected to grow in the future due to an expanding economy and a growing population. Much of this growing energy demand can be avoided if we use energy more efficiently, instead of increasing energy production.
Transforming our economy towards a low carbon future
By reducing our CO2 emissions and making use of innovative low-carbon solutions, Singapore can contribute to international efforts to address climate change.
Over the years, we have steadily rolled out a comprehensive suite of measures to reduce emissions across all sectors:
Early Fuel Switch
Since the 2000s, Singapore has progressively switched from fuel oil/diesel to natural gas, a cleaner fuel. Currently, 95 per cent of our electricity is generated from natural gas, up from 26 per cent in 2001.
Among all fossil fuels, natural gas produces the least amount of carbon emissions per unit of electricity. By switching to clean fuel, we have reduced the amount of carbon we release into the atmosphere.
Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to introduce a carbon price.
The tax was introduced in 2019 at S$5/tonne of CO2e, and there are no exemptions for covered facilities, to maintain a transparent, fair, and consistent price signal across the economy.
It will incentivise emissions reduction across all sectors and support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
We will review the tax rate by 2023, with the intention of increasing the tax rate to between S$10 and S$15/tonne of CO2e by 2030.
In doing so, we will take into account international developments, the progress of our mitigation efforts, and our economic competitiveness.
The Government is prepared to spend more than the estimated S$$1 billion in carbon tax revenue collected in the first five years to support projects that reduce carbon emissions.
Improving our industry energy efficiency
The industry sector accounts for more than half of Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions. The implementation of energy efficiency projects and good energy management practices not only saves energy, it can also reduce costs for companies.
The Energy Conservation Act has put in place enhanced requirements for large industrial energy users to measure and evaluate their energy performance.
We are targeting for the industry to achieve an energy efficiency improvement rate of 1 to 2% per annum – a rate achieved by leading countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands over the past 10 years.
To assist companies transit to a low-carbon economy, we will use revenue from our carbon tax to provide grants and incentives to help businesses reduce their emissions and become more energy and carbon efficient.
- Reducing emissions from industry
- Energy Efficiency in Industrial Sector
- Energy Efficiency Fund (NEA)
- Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy (EDB)
Harnessing more solar power
In Singapore, solar energy is the most promising renewable energy option.
To overcome our land constraints, we are investing in innovative solar technologies, such as floating solar photovoltaic systems on our reservoirs and offshore. These will be among the world’s largest when ready.
JTC has also launched its Solar Land programme to develop and deploy mobile substations and solar panels on temporary land. This allows the system to be redeployed, should the land or space be needed for other uses.
We aim to reach 350 megawatt-peak (MWp) by 2020 and at least two gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2030 (enough to power around 350,000 Singaporean households a year – more than 10 per cent of the peak daily electricity demand today), and an energy storage deployment target of 200MW beyond 2025.
Greening our transport
Promoting sustainable transport and managing vehicular emissions will also help reduce C02. We promote cleaner vehicles through emissions standards and encourage the early replacement of older and more pollutive vehicles, such as through the Early Turnover Scheme. More than 40,000 commercial diesel vehicles have switched to cleaner vehicles under this scheme.
As part of the Land Transport Master Plan 2040, we aim for nine in 10 peak-period journeys to be made via Walk-Cycle-Ride modes of transport (which include public and shared transport such as taxis and private hire cars), and to have 100 per cent greener, cleaner energy public bus and taxi fleets by 2040.
We are reviewing our policies and working with the industry on various fronts to promote the greater use of greener, cleaner energy private vehicles. We are also enhancing existing transport facilities to make them more environmentally-friendly, and designing and building new land transport, airport and port facilities that are sustainable and green, through incorporating energy efficient and carbon mitigation features and technologies.
Greening our buildings
We are on track to having at least 80% of our buildings (by floor area) achieve Green buildings standards by 2030. We will develop new standards to promote super-low energy, zero-energy, and positive energy buildings to push the boundaries for energy efficiency for buildings in Singapore.
We are striving to harness resource synergies and reduce the carbon footprint in our public infrastructure. We are building a used water and waste treatment plant called Tuas Nexus by 2025, which can integrate water reclamation and waste-to-energy incineration in a single facility, and reduce the amount of energy required in the used water treatment process. This can help us cut down carbon emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking more than 42,500 cars off the road.
We aim to reduce waste sent to the landfill each day by 30 per cent by 2030, and achieve an overall national recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2030, from 60 per cent in 2018.
We are working with partners in the public, private and people sectors to move Singapore towards more sustainable production and consumption. This will include the adoption of a circular economy approach to reuse our resources for as long as possible. This will reduce our environmental footprint and strength our resource resilience.