Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change, said yesterday that, “for a very small country with limited alternative energy options, the stabilisation of our emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030 requires serious efforts by everyone”.
Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 46.83 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2010. The country plans to cap the figure at about 65 million tonnes by around 2030, and stop any more increases.
At present, Singapore accounts for just 0.11 per cent of global emissions, despite contributing 2.2 per cent of global trade. The country has proven to be a green haven multiple times.
DPM Teo also signaled for an adoption of “best-in-class” technologies by industries in the country to improve energy efficiency and cut back on emissions.
He also claimed that the country was aiming to become greener economically, by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to achieve each dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) – by more than a third. The announcements were made ahead of the Paris talks in December which aim to raise awareness about global warming.
Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar, executive director of the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University, welcomed these targets, but said much more innovation would be required from people and businesses.
“We have already reduced our energy intensity substantially by changing from fuel oil to natural gas. Going forward, it will definitely be more challenging,” he said.
Prof Michael Quah, director of the National University of Singapore Energy Office, said industrial energy efficiency will be “the toughest target, as industries are focused on high-quality, reproducible products with tried and true processes”.
Still, he noted: “Singapore’s goal is good as it shows commitment and connotes sustainable growth.”
The new targets were submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets a framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle climate change. The aim is to develop an agreement for the post-2020 period that would help keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 deg C above pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
According to scientists and analysts worldwide, urgent action is needed to curtail the threat of global warming. If the current trend of emissions is allowed to continue, it will double the number of droughts, floods and natural disasters.