Singapore and the EU Reaffirm Commitment to Climate Action
Singapore, 8 July 2021
1 Singapore and the European Union (EU) reaffirmed today their joint commitment, and strong partnership, in realising global climate action. Singapore's Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean (who is also the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change1), Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, and Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu met European Commission Executive Vice-President (EVP) Frans Timmermans, who is visiting Singapore to discuss issues related to climate change and biodiversity in the run-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).
2 Singapore and the EU are committed to achieving our mutual goals in climate action leading up to COP26 and beyond. The meetings focused on opportunities for collaboration in areas such as circular economy; research, development and deployment for low-carbon solutions (e.g. hydrogen); green finance; and urban greening. Singapore and the EU jointly underscored the importance of taking urgent action to combat climate change, and in preserving biodiversity for future generations, even as we respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 The EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement is a high-standard and comprehensive agreement that provides a solid framework to advance our joint sustainability and development agenda. Singapore and the EU are committed to close cooperation in areas ranging from low-carbon energy technologies to carbon services and solutions.
Singapore and the EU's environmental commitments
4 Singapore is committed to global climate action. In March 2020, Singapore submitted its enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)2. The Singapore Green Plan 20303 announced in February 2021 builds on our NDC and LEDS, and sets out concrete sectoral plans and targets over the next ten years that will position Singapore to achieve net zero emissions as soon as viable. Singapore actively collaborates with countries around the world, to build on one another's strengths and experiences in climate change, and to provide training to developing countries on climate change and environment-related issues. To further strengthen our efforts in global collaboration, Singapore has also concluded Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with our international partners on low-emissions solutions4.
5 In December 2019, the EU presented the European Green Deal as its new growth strategy bringing together environmental, economic and social sustainability, and set the course for the EU to become climate neutral by 2050. The European Green Deal combines financial and regulatory tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, and restore nature and biodiversity. The EU's climate targets aim for net zero emissions by 2050, and -55% by 2030. The European Union has recently adopted a European Climate Law that enshrines this political commitment in law, and on 14 July 2021, it will present a set of legislative proposals that aim to deliver these targets.
6 Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President said: "I am here to discuss climate change and biodiversity in the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties – COP26, as the EU and Singapore are similarly committed to investing in and speeding up the urgent global green transition. The EU welcomes Singapore's role as co-facilitator for the informal Ministerial consultations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and as a promotor of climate action, circular economy and the protection of biodiversity in ASEAN.
I also believe that during COVID-19 we have demanded a high degree of solidarity from our young generation, both through the restrictions as well as for (loan-) financing the economic stimuli. This should remind us that, likewise, we owe it our children and grandchildren to leave them decent living conditions on our planet. We must take decisive climate action and preserve biodiversity – and the environment more generally.
I hope that my conversations with Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan will allow us to explore opportunities to jointly advance the longer term challenge of the green transition. I believe that we now all have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use the singular fiscal efforts to recover from the pandemic to "build back better". We stand ready to work with Singapore to this end."
7 Singapore's Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said, "Singapore is committed to strengthening the international consensus on climate change, and to galvanising climate action regionally and globally. As a small country with limited renewable energy options, international collaboration is key to our decarbonisation plans as set out in the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and our Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy. Thus, we actively seek synergies with like-minded countries, to pursue opportunities in carbon abatement, and in the green economy.
The European Union is a close and strong partner in our fight against climate change. The discussions today reaffirm our common vision to achieve a low-carbon future together, and to find new engines of growth in sustainable development."
8 Singapore's Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said:"Tackling climate change requires concerted international effort, and countries must work together to address this existential challenge. I had a good discussion with Mr Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President, on ways we can work together to advance global climate action, and strengthen Singapore-EU bilateral cooperation, notably in low-carbon energy solutions, carbon trading and services, waste management and resource circularity, and food production and safety. Singapore is a strong supporter of global climate action and is committed to working with all parties, including the EU, for a successful outcome at COP26."
Singapore's Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean with European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in Singapore on 8 July 2021. (Photo credit: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)
Singapore's Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu meeting European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans virtually on 8 July 2021. (Photo Credit: Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore)
1More details on Singapore's Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change can be found at this link.
2More information on Singapore's enhanced NDC and LEDS can be found in Annex A.
3More information on the Singapore Green Plan 2030 can be found in Annex B.
4More information on Singapore's collaboration with international partners on climate action can be found at this link.
Annex information viewable by clicking here