The Public Sector Sustainability Plan aims to drive efforts to make Singapore more sustainable. The Public Service employs 145.000 public officers, and in 2015 accounted for an average of 4% of the country's total electricity consumption and 3% of total water consumption.
In this context, this plan outlines the public sector's efforts to use resources wisely and build up the Government's capabilities in environmental and urban sustainability. It showcases the green initiatives and projects that Government agencies have embarked on, such as procuring green office supplies and appliances, and installing digesters to recycle food waste in schools.
The Climate Action Plan lays down strategies and targets to meet the pledge to reduce GHG emissions intensity by 36% by 2030 (compared to 2005), peak emissions around 2030, and ensure future resilience of Singapore.
The Climate Action Plan consists of two key documents. The first, 'Take Action Today: For A Carbon-efficient Singapore' lays down the key strategies that Singapore will need to take to reduce GHG emissions to fulfil the emissions reduction pledge it made in support of the Paris Agreement. The four strategies include:
- Improving energy efficiency;
- Reducing carbon emissions from power stations;
- Developing and demonstrate cutting-edge low-carbon technologies;
- Acting through the collective action of government agencies, individuals, businesses, and the community.
The second document, 'A Climate-resilient Singapore: For a Sustainable Future' explains what climate risks Singapore faces and proposes a Whole-of-Government strategy to tackle them, in six key areas:
- Protecting coasts
- Managing water, minimising floods
- Protecting biodiversity and greenery
- Strengthening resilience in public health and food supply
- Keeping essential services running
- Keeping infrastructures safe
Singapore's comprehensive Climate Action Plan covers actions in many key sectors, from increasing industrial energy and carbon efficiency, generating cleaner power and reducing waste, to moving to clean transport, protecting coasts, biodiversity and greenery, managing storm water and building up climate science.
Some of the qualitative targets for climate mitigation are further detailed below (directly adapted from the Plan):
- Green 80 % of our buildings by 2030.
- Raise the adoption of solar energy to 350 MWp (peak capacity) by 2020, compared to 60 MWp today.
- Achieve a national recycling rate of 70 per cent.
- Achieve 75 per cent public transport use by 2030.
- Achieve 20% energy savings by 2030 compared to business-as-usual levels
The key adaptation objectives and targets include (directly adapted from the Plan):
- Safeguard MRT stations, airports, sea ports, power stations, cellular towers and other key infrastructure against floods and/or elevated temperatures.
- Safeguard against coastal erosion and rising sea levels by building seawalls or using geo-bags along our coastlines.
- Restore and protect mangroves.
- Increase connectivity between green areas
- Advance scientific understanding of climate change and its effects on Singapore.
- Promote innovative local farming solutions such as indoor farming.
The Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015 updates and extends the first blueprint published in 2009. Based on a consultation process involving over 6,000 members of the public, the new version is published by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and the Ministry of National Development. The blueprint contains the following targets:
- 200 ha of sky rise greenery by 2030;
- 400 km of park connectors by 2030;
- 100 km of waterways open to recreational activity by 2030;
- 90%proportion of households within 10 minute walk of a park by 2030;
- 180 km of Nature Ways by 2030;
- Park provision of 0.8 ha/ 1000 population by 2030;
- 1039 ha of waterbodies open to recreational activity by 2030;
- 700 km of cycling paths by 2030;
- 75% modal share of journeys during peak hours made via public transport by 2030;
- 360 km of rail network by 2030;
- 80% of households within 10 minute walk of a train station by 2030;
- 80% of buildings to achieve BCA Green Mark Certified rating by 2030;
- 35% energy intensity improvement (from 2005 levels) by 2030;
- 140 L domestic water consumption per capita per day by 2030;
- National recycling rate of 70% by 2030;
- Domestic recycling rate of 30%and non-domestic recycling rate of 81% by 2030;
- By 2020, reduce ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels to 12Âµg/m3 (long term: 10 Âµg/m3) and particulate matter (PM10) levels to 20Âµg/m3 (long term: 20 Âµg/m3);
- By 2020, reduce ambient sulphur dioxide levels to a 24-hour mean (max) of 50Âµg/m3 (long term: 20Âµg/m3);
- By 2020, reduce ozone levels to an 8-hour mean (max) of 100Âµg/m3;
- By 2020, cap nitrogen dioxide levels at an annual mean of 40Âµg/m3;
- By 2020, cap carbon monoxide levels at an 8-hour mean (max) of 10mg/m3;
- Reduce flood prone areas to 23 ha by 2030;
- 5,000 active green volunteers by 2030;
- 2,000 Community in Bloom Gardens by 2030; and
- 500 litter-free Bright Spots by 2015.
The National Climate Change Strategy 2012 (replacing a previous version published in 2008), produced by the National Climate Change Secretariat, provides a comprehensive overview of Singapore's response to climate change. It reiterates the country's pledge, first made in 2009, to reduce emissions by 16% below 2020 business-as-usual levels if there is a legally-binding global agreement in which all countries implement their commitments in good faith. Ahead of this, Singapore has embarked on policies and measures that will reduce its emissions by 7% to 11% below 2020 BAU levels.
The strategy identifies accelerated coastal erosion, higher incidences of intense rain or prolonged drought, biodiversity impacts, and disruption to food and other supplies as potential climate change impacts facing Singapore. It reiterates the country's commitment to a multilateral approach to dealing with climate change, and argues that a global approach will be more conducive towards Singapore's long-term growth and development. It highlights Singapore's position on a global climate agreement as one that supports the UN model of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
The strategy outlines three key principles that guide Singapore's response to climate change:
- Long-term and integrated planning;
- Pragmatically and economically sound measures; and
- Developing innovative solutions for Singapore and global markets.
It also identifies four main approaches that Singapore will follow in addressing climate change:
- Reducing carbon emissions in all sectors;
- Being ready to adapt to the effects of climate change;
- Harnessing green growth opportunities; and
- Forging partnerships (e.g. with international and regional bodies).
The document contains chapters on the importance of climate change and Singapore's national circumstances and constraints, as well as detailed chapters on both mitigation and adaptation plans and policies.In terms of mitigation, energy efficiency is the country's core strategy (given the country's limited access to renewable energy opportunities). Specific identified strategies to reduce emissions across different sectors include:
- Power generation: switching fuel mix away from fuel oil to natural gas;
- Water: incinerate sludge rather than dispose in landfills;
- Households: extend minimum energy performance standards to lighting and other appliances;
- Buildings: require Green Mark certification for all new buildings;
- Transport: implement carbon emissions-based vehicle scheme to encourage purchase of low carbon emission cars; and
- Industry: develop and support energy efficiency financing pilot schemes.
The strategy identifies coastline protection, addressing flood risks, and managing water resources as the three key adaptation priorities of Singapore, and also focuses heavily on green growth as a development model. Finally, it outlines the various local and international partnerships (e.g. with other countries/cities) that Singapore is engaged in.