Statement by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the Ministerial Meeting of the ‘Online Platform On Sustainable And Resilient Recovery From Covid-19’ on 3 September 2020
Thank you, Japan, for this timely initiative. I am pleased to be participating in a meeting on climate change, convened by a close friend of Singapore. Let me make three brief points on how we can rebuild post-COVID in a sustainable and inclusive manner, in line with the Paris goals.
2 First, we need to show commitment by submitting enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS). Setting long-term decarbonisation plans will demonstrate our commitment to address climate change. It can also support our recovery by unlocking new economic opportunities and jobs. This was why Singapore submitted our NDC and LEDS in March and we encourage other Parties to do likewise, thereby strengthening the momentum of global climate action at this critical time.
3 Second, let us redesign our cities for greater sustainability, resilience, resource-efficiency, with smaller carbon footprints. Notwithstanding COVID-19, we are pressing on to make our towns greener. Our Green Towns Programme aims to reduce energy consumption by 15% by 2030. Our latest housing project will feature smart lighting, solar panels, centralised cooling systems, and car-lite features, aimed at reducing emissions.
4 We will ramp up deployment of solar energy. We have an ambitious solar target of at least 2 gigawatt-peak by 2030 despite our size limitation. This requires innovative use of space, including deploying a 60 megawatt-peak floating solar photovoltaic (PV) on one of our reservoirs, which will be one of the world’s largest when completed.
5 We will harness new synergies across sectors to enhance our resource resilience and energy efficiency. Tuas Nexus, an integrated development that will co-locate a waste management facility with a water reclamation plant, will harness synergies from the water-energy-waste nexus and allow us to save more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
6 We will transform Singapore into a “City in Nature” by expanding our green spaces. We aim to plant a million trees across Singapore by 2030. We also aim to phase out private vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2040.
7 Third, we need to invest in needle-moving low-emissions solutions to support the transition to a low-carbon future. Singapore is investing and pursuing partnerships in emerging technologies, such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and hydrogen. The government has earmarked S$20 billion to support research in high impact areas such as climate change and health and biomedical sciences, to study interlinkages and pioneer solutions.
8 In a subject as complex as climate change, there is much to discover, to understand, and to learn from each other. This Online Platform will be a rich resource to draw inspiration and pursue collaborative partnerships. I look forward to working with colleagues to advance global climate action and achieve a successful COP-26 next year.