Written Reply by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, to Parliamentary Questions on Sea-Level Rise and Singapore’s Polder Development Project
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) in light of recent global climatic changes, whether there needs to be a revision to estimated timelines of sea-level rise that may affect Singapore in future; and (b) whether he can provide an update on the plan to build polders and implementation of other measures to deal with sea-level rise.
Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Ministry can provide an update on Singapore's polder development project; and (b) how have the findings affected Singapore's current plans and timeline to protect our coastlines from the impact of climate change.
1 Sea-level rise poses an existential threat to Singapore. By 2100, sea levels are expected to rise by up to 1 metre in Singapore due to climate change. We have started work to protect our coastlines to ensure that Singapore remains climate-resilient.
2 In developing coastal protection plans, the Government refers to the latest climate projections and risks, such as the recent findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These findings will be further localised to inform Singapore's climate adaptation plans.
3 Coastal protection is a long-term and large-scale endeavour. Hence, even though there are uncertainties in climate projections, we have begun planning for coastal protection, beginning with the more vulnerable parts of our coasts. In May 2021, PUB, which is the national coastal protection agency, embarked on a site-specific study at the coastline of City-East Coast, which will consider possible protection measures, including the use of polders, seawalls as well as hybrid solutions that integrate nature-based elements such as planting mangroves. Similar studies to protect Jurong Island and the North-West coast will commence in 2022. These studies will develop coastal adaptation pathways and measures that are adaptive to climate uncertainties and the evolving climate science, drawing on international best practices.
4 The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has also piloted a polder project at Pulau Tekong, and its construction is ongoing. The learning points from this pilot will guide us on the feasibility of building polders as a coastal protection solution.
5 MSE will keep our adaptation measures nimble to account for the latest developments in climate science and projections of sea level rise. This will ensure that Singapore remains resilient to the long-term effects of climate change.