MSE Committee of Supply 2023 Media Release
BUILDING OUR GREEN SINGAPORE
Fostering a liveable, more sustainable nation
2 March 2023 – During the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE)’s Committee of Supply debates on 2 March 2023, Minister Grace Fu, Senior Ministers of State Dr Amy Khor and Dr Koh Poh Koon, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng shared the Ministry’s key initiatives as the Government continues building Singapore into a green, liveable, and climate-resilient home for all.
2 Two years ago, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 was launched, charting bold and concrete policies and actions for Singapore to achieve our net zero emissions goal. This year, we are pressing ahead in our implementation efforts for Singapore’s green transition.
Stewarding Singapore’s transition towards net zero
Leading the Transition
3 The Government is leading the way in Singapore’s decarbonisation journey. Starting in Financial Year (FY) 2023, we will publish an annual GreenGov.SG report detailing our efforts, progress and plans. From FY2024, all Statutory Boards will also publish annual environmental sustainability disclosures.
4 From FY 2024, environmental sustainability considerations will be progressively introduced into the Government’s tender evaluation process. We will set aside up to 5 per cent of tender evaluation points for environmental sustainability, starting with large construction and ICT tenders (see Annex A).
5 Our government agencies are forging ahead with decarbonising their systems and processes. PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency targets to achieve net zero emissions around 2045, in line with our ambition under GreenGov.SG. Their decarbonisation strategy is underpinned by 3Rs – Replace, Reduce and Remove (see Annex B).
Enabling the Transition
6 Building our green Singapore requires the participation of our partners in businesses. The Government is further supporting manufacturing companies, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make their own transitions by enhancing the Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F). From 1 April 2023, pre-approved energy efficient technologies will be eligible for a fixed 70 per cent support of qualifying costs. The grant application process will be further simplified (see Annex C).
7 Households can also do their part by switching to more energy efficient appliances for their homes. The National Environment Agency (NEA)’s Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS) and the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) has helped consumers make informed decisions to purchase more energy efficient appliances. We will be enhancing the schemes to include more appliance types and to raise the efficiency standards of appliances currently in the schemes (see Annex D). We will also expand the Climate Friendly Households Programme to more households. More details will be made available later.
Towards a Zero Waste Nation
Facilitating the Transition
8 Moving towards zero waste supports our net zero goals. Carbon is emitted at virtually every step of a product’s lifecycle. Therefore, curbing rising consumption and moving towards resource circularity reduces our carbon footprint. As announced during the First Reading of the Resource Sustainability (Amendment) Bill earlier this year, a disposable carrier bag charge at supermarkets will be implemented from 3 July 2023. This is an important nudge towards changing behaviours and mindsets and incorporating resource consciousness into our daily lives (see Annex E). Furthermore, to boost the recycling rate of beverage containers and cultivate recycling habits amongst Singaporeans, we will be implementing a beverage container return scheme that will apply a fully refundable deposit to the plastic bottles and metal cans used for pre-packaged beverages.
9 We also want to help households do their part in increasing our recycling rate. NEA will be providing a Bloobox to all Singapore households to help them can set up recycling corners at home and to recycle right. Households will be able to collect their Bloobox from vending machines across the island later this month.
Ensuring water sustainability
Securing the Transition
10 While we strive to mitigate and delay the impacts of climate change, we are working to ensure that Singapore becomes a climate-resilient nation. A resilient water supply is critical in safeguarding our water needs from climate change impacts. PUB will continue to strengthen our water resilience and ensure sustainable water supply for Singapore. We will redevelop the Kranji Water Reclamation Plant and Kranji NEWater Factory to complete the three-node Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) for water reclamation, increase the treatment capacity of used water ahead of demand, and bolster our NEWater production to support major upcoming industrial and residential development in the north (see Annex F). We are also making good progress on DTSS Phase 2, with tunnelling works expected to complete by the second half of this year.
11 To improve water efficiency in the non-domestic sector, the Government will introduce mandatory water recycling requirements on new projects and plant expansions in the wafer fabrication, electronics, and biomedical industries from next year. These industries are water-intensive and have high potential for water recycling (see Annex G).
Enhancing coastal and flood protection
12 PUB, which is also our national Coastal Protection Agency, has also been making steady progress to protect our coastlines. Since May 2021, PUB has launched site-specific studies for several stretches of our coast and will be commencing a study for the Sungei Kadut and Lim Chu Kang area by mid-year.
13 To build long-term coastal protection and inland flood management capabilities in Singapore, the agency will launch a new $125 million Coastal Protection & Flood Management Research Programme (CFRP). It will drive research and collaboration across local Institutes of Higher Learning, research institutes and industry. The CFRP will be anchored by a Centre of Excellence, hosted by the National University of Singapore, in collaboration with other partner institutes (see Annex H).
Securing a supply of safe food
14 Singapore imports more than 90% of our food supply, making it impossible for us to insulate ourselves from global food supply and price shocks caused by myriad factors including climate change. The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is committed to building our agri-food sector’s capability and capacity to meet our ‘30 by 30’ goal. SFA will be launching the first land tender for a wider range of food types, such as fruited vegetables and mushrooms, in the second half of this year. We are also making good progress in master planning Lim Chu Kang, to transform the region into a high-tech agri-food zone which can optimise our limited agriculture space. Following a 6-month stakeholder engagement in 2021, we have appointed a multi-disciplinary team to develop the detailed master plan in 2023 and will continue to co-create with stakeholders as planning progresses.
15 Our aquaculture sector plays a key role in ensuring our food resilience. To further support Singapore’s ambitions in leading aquaculture research and innovation, we will enhance our research and development facilities to attract companies and researchers to base themselves here. SFA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre, located on St. John’s Island, will serve as the anchor research campus of the AquaPolis R&D programme. We will also embark on a pre-planning study to review how our research facilities can be integrated with other aquaculture infrastructures. (See Annex I)
16 To support the industry transformation and achieve our vision of a productive and high-tech agri-food sector, we will continue to develop a skilled agri-food workforce. The Career Conversion Programme for the Agri-tech Sector was launched last year to equip mid-career professionals with the relevant knowledge and skills. This year, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will offer a Work-Study Diploma in Agriculture & Aquaculture Technology to equip in-service employees and fresh graduates from ITE Nitec and Higher Nitec with engineering skills to operate high-tech agriculture and aquaculture systems, and with knowledge for food crops cultivation and fish farm management (see Annex J).
17 To ensure that our local agri-food sector will be commercially viable, there must also be sufficient demand for local produce. A new Action for Alliance (AfA) on Demand Offtake and Consumer Education will look into demand and supply aggregation of local produce and build greater mindshare for local produce. The AfA brings together key stakeholders of our local food ecosystem such as farmers, supermarkets, and trade associations (see Annex K).
Safeguarding our hawker culture
18 Our hawker centres are an important institution and a mainstay in our everyday lives. This year, diners can look forward to the opening of two new hawker centres in Buangkok and Woodleigh Village, and a refreshed Jurong West Hawker Centre.
19 The National Environment Agency (NEA) has implemented programmes and initiatives to support and encourage hawkerpreneurs to join the trade. Through NEA’s Incubation Stall Programme and Hawkers’ Development Programme, along with similar programmes by Socially-conscious Enterprise Hawker Centre operators, more than 50 new hawkers have joined the trade. NEA will continue to review and refine the programmes to ensure that aspiring hawkers receive the appropriate training. To raise productivity in hawker centres, centre-level and stall-level productivity grants will both be enhanced. The Productive Hawker Centres Programme will be enhanced to cover co-funding for Cleaning Process Automation solutions. NEA will co-fund up to 80% of the deployment costs incurred by the cleaning service providers for such solutions in hawker centres. Additionally, the Hawkers’ Productivity Grant will be increased from $5,000 to $7,000 and expanded to cover stall-level digital solutions (see Annex L).
Everyone has a part to play
20 Pursuing the green transition requires a whole-of-nation effort, and the Government is committed to working with communities and individuals to build our Green Nation. We have been co-creating activities with our partners through MSE’s annual Climate Action Week (CAW) to encourage people and communities to take collective climate action towards a sustainable future for Singapore. This year, we will rebrand CAW to Go Green SG to rally more people towards a sustainable lifestyle.
21 Through the SG Eco Fund, we have empowered and supported more individuals and organisations to drive sustainability initiatives within their communities. Under the Fund’s third grant call, a total of 77 projects were awarded $2.4 million in funding. Projects range from experiential environmental education to food rescue to waste upcycling. Since the launch of the $50 million Fund in 2020, 182 individuals and organisations have been awarded combined funding of $9 million for their projects (see Annex M).
22 We all have a shared responsibility in achieving our climate goals. Only through our combined efforts as a nation can we take definitive climate action and build and secure a green and sustainable Singapore for our future generations. Go Green Singapore.