In 2020, Singapore submitted our enhanced 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) document to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Our 2030 enhanced NDC target is to peak emissions at 65MtCO2e around 2030 and our LEDS aspiration is to halve emissions from its peak to 33MtCO2e by 2050, with a view to achieving net-zero emissions as soon as viable. More details on our climate pledge can be found here.
There are three thrusts under Singapore LEDS: (a) Transformations in industry, economy and society, e.g. more renewable energy, greater energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption; (b) Adoption of advanced low-carbon technologies, e.g. carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), low-carbon fuels; and (c) Effective international collaboration, e.g. international climate action, regional power grids, market-based mechanisms.
In the 30-year time frame to 2050, there will be uncertainties and unanticipated developments. In developing Singapore's LEDS aspiration, a positive outlook is taken on global advances in technology and the potential for international co-operation. An overview of our plans to achieve our climate ambition can be found here.
At the Budget 2022, Singapore announced that we will raise our ambition to achieve net zero emissions by or around mid-century. A consultation with industry and citizen stakeholder groups will be carried out to firm up and finalise our plans before making a formal revision of our LEDS later in 2022.
We will continue to rally every segment of society to do their part to address climate change through the Singapore Green Plan 2030, which is our whole-of-nation roadmap that outlines concrete and ambitious sectoral targets to achieve sustainable development and net-zero emissions.
The road to a sustainable future is a whole-of-nation effort. We hope to spark a national conversation and energise Singaporeans to act through the Singapore Green Plan. Every Singaporean must be involved in this transformation because:
Sustainability entails opportunity costs and cannot be incurred without a national consensus. In the near term, we may have to pay more for greener goods and services, adjust to slight inconveniences in our daily lives, or reskill for green jobs in new industries.
It is our individual actions that determine collective outcomes. Our consumption patterns drive industry. If we avoid disposables, buy locally produced food, and choose energy-efficient appliances, greener and more sustainable businesses will emerge.
There are new business and job opportunities across the economy that will benefit Singapore and Singaporeans.
The Government will continue to engage members of the public to rally and drive collective actions for sustainability through campaigns, consultations, and co-creation opportunities. MSE initiatives with opportunities for individuals and organisations to play a part include the ongoing Singapore Green Plan, the annual Climate Action Week, and Citizens’ Workgroups . MSE also launched the SG Eco Fund in 2020 to support individuals and organisations in starting ground-up initiatives.
You can keep a lookout and participate in opportunities to co-create and co-deliver sustainability solutions by following us @msesingapore on our social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook).
We encourage companies to reduce their carbon footprint by improving their carbon and energy efficiency, developing and deploying low carbon technologies, and developing the relevant capabilities.
The Government provides targeted support through initiatives such as:
The Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) - supports efforts by businesses with industrial facilities to improve energy efficiency
The Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy - offered to manufacturing facilities and data centres
The Enterprise Sustainability Programme by Enterprise Singapore - supports SMEs in developing capabilities for sustainability.
The carbon tax is also part of a comprehensive suite of measures to nudge companies into early adoption of technologies for decarbonisation. The carbon tax covers 80% of our total greenhouse gas emissions from about 50 facilities. In 2022, the Government announced that the carbon tax will be progressively raised from the current $5 per tonne to:
$25 per tonne in 2024 and 2025;
$45 per tonne in 2026 and 2027, and
with a view of reaching $50 - $80 per tonne by 2030.
A transition framework will be introduced to give existing emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) companies transitory allowances for part of their emissions and time to adjust to a low-carbon economy.
The carbon tax forms part of Singapore’s comprehensive suite of climate change mitigation measures. It provides a broad-based price signal across the economy to encourage companies to reduce their emissions yet gives them flexibility to act where it makes the most economic sense. This will accelerate the economic transformation to a future-ready green economy by enhancing the business case to implement energy efficiency improvements and other emissions reduction solutions. This also ensures the long-term viability of business investments and activities in a carbon-constrained world.
To achieve Singapore's net zero goals by or around mid-century, we have to move decisively and strengthen the impetus for businesses and individuals to reduce our carbon footprint. One of our strategies is to introduce the carbon tax in 2019 at an initial rate of $5 per tonne of emissions from 2019 to 2023, to provide a transitional period for businesses to adjust. The Government will raise the carbon tax to:
$25 per tonne in 2024 and 2025;
$45 per tonne in 2026 and 2027;and
with a view of reaching $50 to $80 per tonne by 2030.
As of June 2022, 46 national and 36 sub-national jurisdictions have implemented carbon pricing. These jurisdictions account for roughly 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Jurisdictions such as Finland, Norway and Sweden have implemented carbon pricing as early as the 1990s. Other jurisdictions within the region that have announced plans to price carbon and introduce new carbon regulations include Brunei and Indonesia.
The Government does not ring-fence sources of fiscal revenue for specific purposes. This ensures that there is flexibility in allocating resources to priority areas with the most important spending needs.
The Government does not expect to derive additional revenue from the carbon tax increase in this decade. The carbon tax collected will fund decarbonisation measures and cushion the impact on businesses, such as the Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy and the Energy Efficiency Fund, to support industries in improving energy and carbon efficiency. Funds have also been earmarked under the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 plan for the research, development and demonstration of sustainable urban solutions, as well as emerging low-carbon technologies that can drive deeper decarbonisation.
Other than funding enhanced support for companies to improve energy efficiency, carbon tax revenue will also be used for household assistance and other measures to reduce emissions, such as increasing the deployment of solar photovoltaic systems and improving energy efficiency for buildings.
Singapore has implemented a Fixed-Price Credit-based (FPCB) tax mechanism where companies will pay the carbon tax by purchasing and surrendering non-tradeable carbon credits representing the equivalent amount of verified emissions generated. These carbon credits can be purchased from the Government at a fixed price.
We recognise that there may be benefits in expanding the mode of carbon tax payment to include international carbon credits and linking our carbon tax framework to other carbon pricing jurisdictions in the longer term. We are studying the feasibility of doing so and how we can leverage robust international market mechanisms to complement our domestic mitigation efforts. The FPCB system provides the flexibility to accommodate international carbon credits and link up with external partners, should we decide to do so in future.
For now, companies may only use fixed-price credits issued by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to meet their carbon tax liability. Nonetheless, the Government is exploring the feasibility of enabling companies to partially offset their carbon tax liability with international carbon credits. We are studying the key design features, potential legislative changes and implementation options, and we will announce our decision in due course.
SG Green Plan
The Singapore Green Plan 2030, or the Green Plan, is a whole-of-nation movement to catalyse bold, balanced and collective actions to tackle climate change. The Green Plan charts a common vision for a sustainable future and roadmap for all segments of society to contribute their part for climate change.
The Green Plan identifies a green citizenry and a Green Government as key enablers. Government ministries and agencies will take the lead in adopting sustainability actions. We encourage citizens and businesses to adopt sustainable practices.
The Green Plan is a long-term living plan that will evolve as we update our targets and strategies when new technologies and practicable solutions become available, and as the government works with Singaporeans and partners to co-create solutions for sustainability.
There are five pillars under the Green Plan – City in Nature, Sustainable Living, Energy Reset, Green Economy and Resilient Future. The pillars represent the priority areas in Singapore’s sustainable development until 2030.
City in Nature seeks to create a green, liveable, and sustainable home for Singaporeans.
Sustainable Living will make conserving resources our way of life – consume less, recycle more, and take public transport.
Energy Reset will green our energy mix and power systems with an aim to lower carbon footprint.
As we pivot towards a Green Economy, sustainability will be a new engine of jobs and growth.
Building a Resilient Future, we must adapt to climate change to ensure Singapore’s long-term survival.
Read more about the five pillars and our concrete targets here.
Sustainable development has been integral to the Singapore Story. As a low-lying island state with real constraints, Singapore has embedded sustainability in our DNA. Sustainability is about engineering a whole ecosystem and cultivating a new way of life. We will build upon what we have already done for a better, greener future.
We are on track to achieve our 2030 goals. Later this year, we will update our Long-term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) with our revised plans to achieve Singapore’s net zero goals by or around mid-century. Sustainable development is all about futureproofing. Having transformed from mudflats to a metropolis, we will transform Singapore into a global city of sustainability.
The public sector's journey started under the Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability (PSTLES) initiative. Through the years, we achieved a six per cent improvement in water efficiency between 2013 and 2019, while 53 public sector buildings have been certified Green Mark Platinum as of December 2020.
The public sector has a responsibility to set the pace in sustainability, drive innovation and create demand. The GreenGov.sg initiative, launched in 2021 as part of the Singapore Green Plan, outlines the public sector's commitment to be a key enabler of the national sustainability agenda. Under GreenGov.SG, the public sector will strive to attain ambitious sustainability targets in carbon abatement and resource efficiency and be a positive influence and enabler of green efforts. Every public officer will be encouraged and supported to embrace sustainability practices.
GreenGov.SG strives to raise the bar on sustainability through three pillars, or three 'E's:
Excel – Setting new and ambitious goals and greening operations.
Enable – Achieve a green economy and green citizenry by embedding sustainability in our core business.
Excite – Building a culture of active contribution to sustainability in the public service.
The public sector will look to private sector leaders in the sustainability space, for innovations, best practices, and partnerships. For an overview of the detailed targets and measures, please find the GreenGov.SG infographic here. You may also wish to find out more on GreenGov.SG here.
Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility. You can make a difference by being an environment volunteer with the National Environment Agency (NEA) and PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency.
NEA is recruiting Community Volunteers (CVs) to educate the public on environmental offences. The primary role of a CV is to educate environmental offenders to stop the offending acts and encourage greater ownership of the environment. Training will be provided by NEA. If an offender does not heed the repeated advice of a CV, the CV is empowered to take down the particulars of the non-compliant offender for NEA's consideration to follow through with enforcement action.
NEA also has other volunteering opportunities such as SG Clean Ambassadors who support the SG Clean Campaign by working with our 3P (People, Public and Private) partners to promote good personal habits and social norms to raise standards of cleanliness and public hygiene, and safeguard public health. If you share our vision and passion to make SG Clean a way of life, we welcome you to sign up as an SG Clean Ambassador.
PUB also has a volunteer programme where you can do your part for water at the Singapore World Water Day events and public outreach activities.
The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) organises the biennial President's Award for the Environment (PAE), Singapore's highest environmental accolade. It recognises and honours sustained contributions by environmental champions from the People, Private and Public (3P) sectors, and aims to inspire more community partners to come forward to address our environmental challenge.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) organises the EcoFriend Awards to recognise environmentally proactive individuals in Singapore who have contributed significantly to environmental sustainability.
MSE has launched a $50 million SG Eco Fund in 2020 to support the co-creation of solutions that advance environmental sustainability and involve the community. Through the SG Eco Fund, we hope to empower everyone across the People, Public and Private sectors to take ownership of the environment and enable our community to build a sustainable Singapore.
The SG Eco Fund has two categories. The 'Sprout' category, which offers funding support of up to $10,000 is open for application throughout the year. Projects that require funding support of more than $10,000 may submit their applications through the 'Main' category grant call from May to August every year. If you have a query about the SG Eco Fund, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on other grants and programmes, you may visit the NEA's website here, PUB's website here, and SFA's website here.
Air Pollution Control
Vehicular (or motor) emission is one of the major sources of air pollution in Singapore. As part of our Energy Reset goals under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, Singapore is transitioning towards cleaner energy vehicles and ceasing diesel car and taxi registrations from 2025.
To control the emissions generated by motor vehicles and safeguard public health, the National Environment Agency (NEA) sets specific exhaust emission and fuel quality standards for all vehicles, and regulates the type and quality of fuel that is being used in Singapore:
(I) All new and used petrol or diesel vehicles imported for registration in Singapore must comply with the Euro VI emission standards.
(II) All new and used motorcycles imported into Singapore for registration must comply with the Euro IV emission standards. Compared to the Euro III emission standard, the tighter Euro IV emission standard will help to reduce emissions of hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are precursors to ozone.
(III) All in-use vehicles have to comply with the in-use vehicle emission standards prescribed in the regulations.
(IV) Every motor vehicle being driven in Singapore, when using diesel or petrol, must only use Euro V diesel or petrol that conforms with the standards prescribed in the regulations.
(V) NEA also introduced the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) to replace the Carbon Emission-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) for all new cars, taxis and newly imported used cars with effect from 1 January 2018. The VES covers five pollutants – carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). To further promote the adoption of cleaner vehicles and to discourage the purchases of more pollutive models, the VES for new cars, taxis and imported used cars have been enhanced with increased rebates and surcharges from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022.
(VI) NEA further enhanced the Early Turnover Scheme (ETS) to cover Euro IV Category C diesel vehicles from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023, to incentivise owners of diesel commercial vehicles to replace them with new, cleaner options. NEA and LTA have also introduced the Commercial Vehicle Emissions Scheme (CVES) for all new and used imported Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs), Goods-cum-Passenger Vehicles (GPVs), and small buses, all with maximum laden weight (MLW) not exceeding 3,500kg, from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023.
(VII) The import of used vehicles into Singapore must also comply with the prevailing emission standards at the time of registration in Singapore.Visit NEA's website for more information on air pollution regulations.
If you spot smoky vehicles or idling engines, you may report them to NEA, providing details such as the vehicle registration number, location, date and time of the incident via NEA's online feedback form.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) evaluates the hazard and pollution impact of industries to ensure that they do not contribute to unmanageable pollution, health and safety hazards. NEA checks the designs of industrial plants and pollution control equipment at the building plan stage for compliance with pollution control requirements. An industry is allowed to be set up only if it is sited in an appropriate industrial estate, and can comply with the pollution control requirements.
NEA also conducts regular inspections on industries, fuel analyses and smoke observations of chimneys, to ensure that pollution control equipment is maintained and operated properly.
Currently, there are no regulations against the burning of incense and joss paper in public places. Being a multi-cultural society, the Government encourages members of public, including temples and devotees, to practise graciousness and consideration for the environment and neighbouring premises, when carrying out religious practices in public places.
Devotees are advised to clean up the place after they have made their offerings. When burning joss paper, candles and other offerings, they should make use of the proper pits and containers provided at the designated points, such as those provided by the Town Councils.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) works closely with religious associations and the town councils on reminding devotees to avoid burning joss papers on the ground and grass patches, and that it is also not necessary to throw joss paper in the air but to burn them instead.
We recognise that indiscriminate smoking in homes can be distressing and we empathise with those affected.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has been progressively extending the smoking prohibition to more public places in consultation with the public and relevant stakeholders. Since 2013, the smoking prohibition has been extended to the common areas of public and private residential premises, including condominiums (e.g. common corridors, stairwells, lobby areas, and void decks).
Nevertheless, homes are private spaces and our regulations need to be balanced against privacy concerns. Apart from privacy concerns, there are also practical challenges to investigating and enforcing against smoking in homes. It will be challenging to track down the smoker or obtain evidence of an act of smoking being committed without intrusive methods and affecting the privacy of innocent neighbours.
We adopt a three-pronged approach on this issue:
a. Engender greater social responsibility by instilling consideration for the health and well-being of those around us, such as our family members and neighbours. This includes the widespread adoption/acceptance of new social norms of what constitutes acceptable behaviour. Agencies will explore effective ways of doing this such as developing targeted messages to be communicated across key platforms.
b. Explore ways to facilitate productive conversations between neighbours to deal with difficult situations, before they escalate into intractable disputes.
c. Study how disputes can be better addressed by the inter-agency Community Dispute Management Framework by reviewing the Community Mediation Process and the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal (CDRT) to enhance their effectiveness when residents turn to these channels.
Currently, NEA has collaborated with the Housing & Development Board (HDB), Health Promotion Board (HPB), Municipal Services Office (MSO), and town councils to develop and issue joint advisories to units where feedback on tobacco smoke have been received. The advisory urges smokers to be considerate to their family members and neighbours, as well as advises them on the smoking cessation helplines available. We will continue to encourage and support ground-up efforts by community organisations and the grassroots.
Living close to one another necessitates good neighbourly behaviour so that we can live together harmoniously. Legislation is not a panacea and we must pursue a community approach. Affected residents are encouraged to resolve their concerns amicably with their neighbours, or seek assistance from a professional mediator from the Community Mediation Centre (CMC). Through joint or private session, trained mediators will facilitate discussions between parties in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable solution. You may call the CMC at 1800 2255 529 or register a case online.
Although the long-term goal is to prohibit smoking at all public places, we need to recognise that smokers also need space to smoke. To reduce the public's exposure to the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has been progressively extending the smoking prohibition to more public places where the public are more likely to be exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke such as common areas of residential buildings, sheltered walkways, linkways, overhead bridges, outdoor compounds of hospitals, reservoirs and more than 400 parks.
Since 30 June 2017, NEA has also stopped accepting applications for smoking corners in all retail food establishments. Existing smoking corners will remain until the current licences of the retail food establishments are terminated. Retail food establishments with smoking corners are required to demarcate the smoking corner clearly.
As of 2021, 87 out of the 111 hawker centres in Singapore are smoke-free. For the remaining 24 hawker centres with smoking corners, NEA will continue to engage local stakeholders on the progressive removal of smoking corners when opportune. This phased approach is meant to minimise disruption to existing operations and businesses.
Since January 2019, public areas within the Orchard Road precinct have been designated as a No Smoking Zone (NSZ), and smoking is only allowed in Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs). Premises owners are encouraged within the NSZ to demarcate DSAs and put up directional signage within their premises, if they deem it necessary to facilitate the convenience of smokers among their occupants and visitors.
We require further details such as the name, contact number, and where the Safe Distancing Ambassador (SDA) was deployed at for the relevant agencies to investigate on the matters raised. You may also share with us photos and screenshots of the conversations to aid investigations.
You may wish to report such encounters with MSE. We take such feedback seriously and our agencies will investigate feedback of inappropriate actions made against SDAs or enforcement officers. Appropriate actions will be taken after the investigation is completed.
Safe Distancing Enforcement Officers (SDEOs) may take enforcement action against offenders for breaches of Safe Management Measures (SMMs). Members of public are required to cooperate with SDEOs’ requests for personal particulars, including showing their NRICs as proof of their identity. In some instances, SDEOs may also take photos of the NRICs as part of the enforcement process. Nevertheless, safeguards are in place to ensure that the photos are used strictly for investigation purposes only and will be disposed of in a proper manner.
When SDEOs perform their duties, they are required to put on their SDEO passes. Members of public who wish to verify the identities of SDEOs may request to see their photo ID cards and Letters of Appointment from the Ministry of Health (MOH). These documents are proof that the SDEOs are authorised to perform their roles as SDEOs. Depending on operational requirements, SDEOs may also put on red armbands when performing their duties.
To ensure a safe working environment, businesses are required to abide by nation-wide general requirements for workplaces. Businesses are also required to adhere to sector-specific requirements and comply with measures to facilitate contact tracing. You may wish to refer to the SMM guidelines on Sector-Specific Requirements for businesses here.