Our Climate Policy in a Nutshell
GAME CHANGING CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is an existential challenge for Singapore. We need to protect Singapore against the impacts of climate change, and contribute to global efforts to mitigate carbon emissions.
COOPERATING WITH INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS
Climate change is a global challenge. Singapore will do our part to tackle climate change and facilitate international cooperation on dealing with climate change.
EDUCATING SINGAPOREANS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE
Awareness and action must begin now. We encourage everyone to learn about climate change and how they can play their part to tackle it.
Our Main Plans
Singapore will deepen research capabilities in climate science and study the impacts of climate change, particularly on South East Asia.
Climate change will threaten our access to water and food. As a low-lying city state, we are vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather events. Even as we reduce our carbon emissions, we must also adapt to the impacts of climate change and invest in resilient infrastructure to safeguard our future.
The carbon tax is an integral part of our suite of mitigation measures and transition to a low-carbon economy. It sends an important price signal to spur emissions reductions, while allowing companies the flexibility to act where it makes business sense. Revenue from the carbon tax is used to support businesses and households in reducing their emissions.
We have made pledges under the Paris Agreement, and updated our Nationally Determined Contribution and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy. We co-facilitated negotiations on climate mitigation measures at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties. We also contribute to global efforts led by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to address emissions from the aviation and maritime sectors.
We communicate the implications of climate change to various stakeholders and encourage them to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. We do this through campaigns such as designating 2018 as the Year of Climate Action.
Understanding Climate Change
The build-up of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere has trapped more heat, resulting in a warmer planet. Temperatures in Singapore have risen by 0.25oC per decade from 1948 to 2015, while 2016 and 2019 were the hottest years recorded thus far. A warmer climate leads to the thermal expansion of the sea and melting of glaciers and ice caps, which lead to rising sea levels, threatening our island nation. There may also be more frequent extreme weather events.
Much research has been done on the impacts of climate change on the global scale, but different regions may be impacted differently. More research needs to be contextualised to Singapore and our surrounding region to inform our adaptation plans.
The Centre for Climate Research Singapore (CCRS) under the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) is one of the few dedicated tropical climate research centres, and a key node for climate and weather research in Singapore. CCRS runs high-resolution regional climate models to produce long-term projections of rainfall, temperature, wind and sea level in Singapore. CCRS has just embarked on the Third National Climate Change Study to provide an update of the projections.
A carbon price is needed to ensure that emitters take into account the environmental impact of carbon emissions in the decisions they make.
Singapore implemented a carbon tax in 2019. The tax sends a transparent, fair and consistent price signal to incentivise emitters to reduce their emissions, while giving them the flexibility to act where it makes business sense.
The carbon tax is levied on facilities that emit 25,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) or more annually, and applies uniformly to all sectors without exemption. The tax has been set at $5/tCO2e from 2019 to 2023 as a transition period to give the industry time to adjust to its impact. The Government will review the tax rate by 2023. We intend to increase the tax rate to between $10-$15/tCO2e by 2030. In doing so, we will consider international climate change developments, the progress of our mitigation efforts, and our economic competitiveness.
The Government is prepared to spend more than the expected carbon tax revenue of about $1 billion over the first five years to support projects that reduce emissions.
Protecting Against Sea Level Rise
Singapore is particularly vulnerable to the threat of rising sea levels, with 30% of our island less than 5 metres above sea level. Based on CCRS’s Second National Climate Change Study, we could experience a mean sea level rise by up to about 1 metre by 2100.
Since April 2020, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, has taken on the role of the national Coastal Protection Agency. By combining coastal protection responsibilities with its stormwater management functions, PUB will look at inland and coastal flooding holistically to strengthen Singapore’s resilience against climate change.
The Coastal Adaptation Study (CAS) was commissioned by the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) to better understand the potential impacts of rising sea levels. This study was completed in 2019 and has helped us to prioritise vulnerable areas in our coastal protection plans. PUB will embark on site-specific engineering studies and work with other stakeholders to develop strategies and engineering designs for coastal protection measures. The first of these studies at City-East Coast and Jurong Island is due to commence after 2020.
The Related Laws
CARBON PRICING ACT
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT ACT