Budget 2018 (carbon tax) ( 2018 )

The budget stipulates that Singapore will impose a carbon tax entering into force in 2019. All facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions in a year will have to pay a carbon tax. The carbon tax will initially be $5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023. The Government will review…read more

Energy Conservation Act (Chapter 92C) ( 2012 )

This Act mandates energy efficiency requirements and energy management practices, to promote energy conservation, improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of energy use. Under the Act, large energy users in the industry and transport sectors that consume at least the equivalent of 54 tera-joules of energy per calendar year in at least two…read more

National Environment Agency Act (Chapter 195) ( 2002 )

The Act provides for the establishment of the National Environment Agency, its tasks, functions and responsibilities in preventing, abating and controlling air, water, land and food pollution. Provisions are made for the prevention and control of pollution of the air, water and land both by domestic and industrial pollutants: smoke, cinders, solid particles, liquids, sewage,…read more

Electricity Act (Chapter 89A) ( 2001 )

This Act creates a competitive market framework for the electricity industry, and makes provision for the safety, technical and economic regulation of the generation, transmission, supply and use of electricity. It specifies that the EMA is to promote the efficient use of electricity by consumers and to promote the economic efficiency and maintenance of such…read more

Energy Market Authority of Singapore Act (Chapter 92B) ( 2001 )

This Act establishes the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore. It states that the function and duty of the EMA is to create a market framework in respect of the supply of electricity or gas which promotes and maintains fair and efficient market conduct and effective competition or, in the absence of a competitive market,…read more

Gas Act (Chapter 116A) ( 2001 )

This Act creates a competitive market framework for the gas industry, and makes provision for the safety, technical and economic regulation of the transportation and retail of gas. It specifies that the EMA is to promote the efficient use of gas by consumers and to ensure that gas licensees whose prices are controlled by the…read more

Building Control Act (Chapter 29) ( 1989 )

This Act prescribes standards of safety, accessibility, environmental sustainability and buildability. The legislation provides a blueprint to regulate the design of building works and the periodic structural inspection of existing structures. On 15 April 2008, the Act was enhanced to incorporate the Building Control (Environmental Sustainability) Regulations. This regulation requires developers and owners of new…read more

Climate Action Plan ( 2016 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

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…read more

Sustainable Singapore Blueprint ( 2014 )

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…read more

National Climate Change Strategy ( 2012 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

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…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

36% reduction in emissions intensity by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, and stabilise its emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030

Economy Wide | Intensity Target And Trajectory Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005

Source: NDC

36% reduction in emission intensity, peaking in 2030 against a 2005 baseline

Economy Wide | Intensity Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): Climate Ac... (2016 / Executive)

16% cut in emissions by 2020 compared with a business as usual scenario

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: Business as usual scenario | Source(s): Climate Ac... (2016 / Executive)

7-11% cut in emissions by 2020 compared with a business as usual scenario

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: Business as usual scenario | Source(s): National C... (2012 / Executive)

100 ug/m3 8-hour mean O3 by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive)

50 ug/m3 24-hour mean SO2 by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive)

20 ug/m3 annual mean PM10 by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive)

12 ug/m3 annual mean PM2.5 by 2020

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive)

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

140L domestic water consumption (per capita per day) by 2030

Water Management | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2030 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive)

Tenfold increase in desalination capacity to meet 30% long term water needs by 2060

Adaptation | Base Year Target | Target year: 2060 | Base year: 2011 | Source(s): National C... (2012 / Executive)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

80% Singapore buildings at Green Mark standard by 2030

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2030 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive), Climate Ac... (2016 / Executive)

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

35% energy intensity improvement by 2030 against a 2005 baseline

Energy Intensity | Intensity Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive), National C... (2012 / Executive)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

70% public transportation by 2020

Public Transport | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2020 | Source(s): National C... (2012 / Executive), Climate Ac... (2016 / Executive)

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

70% recycling by 2030

Recycling, Reuse, Reduce | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2030 | Source(s): Sustainabl... (2014 / Executive), National C... (2012 / Executive)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Singapore ratified the UNFCCC in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol (as a non-Annex I country) in 2006, and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol in September 2014. It submitted its first communication to the UNFCCC in 2000, its second communication in 2010, and its third national communication and first biennial update report in December 2014. In 2009, it pledged to reduce its emissions by 16% from the 2020 business-as-usual (BAU) level 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 should reduce its emissions by 7% to 11% below 2020 BAU levels.

In 2007, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC) was set up to oversee inter-agency co-ordination on climate change. The IMCCC is supported by an executive committee, which oversees a Long-Term Emissions and Mitigation working group, an International Negotiations working group, and a Resilience working group. The working groups are made up of relevant permanent secretaries and chief executives of ministries and national agencies.

In July 2010 the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) was established as a dedicated unit under the Prime Minister’s Office to develop and provide co-ordination for climate change-related policies (both domestic and international). In 2012, the NCCS published a National Climate Change Strategy, which outlines Singapore’s plans to address climate change through a whole-of-nation approach and which replaced a previous version published in 2008.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), established in 1972 also plays an active role in climate change legislation and policy. The National Environment Agency is a statutory board operating under the MEWR and is responsible for co-ordinating national communications to the UNFCCC. It also leads various other energy and climate change measures, such as initiatives in conjunction with the Energy Market Authority, leading the Energy Efficiency Programme Office and co-ordinating the Clean Development Mechanism.

The first version of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint was published by MEWR and the Ministry of National Development in 2009, as a national framework that outlined strategies for sustainable development. The blueprint included targets related to Singapore’s GHG emissions, such as energy efficiency and the promotion of public transport. A review process for the blueprint, involving public consultation, was conducted and a second edition, the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, was published in November 2014.

The key expected climate change impacts for Singapore are sea level rise (most of the country is only 15m above mean sea level, with approximately 30% less than 5m above mean sea level) and water supply and security (both in terms of drought and flash flooding). Other identified impacts include biodiversity and greenery, effects on public health (such as increases in vector-borne diseases e.g. dengue fever, which is endemic), an increase in the urban heat island effect (leading to knock-on increases in energy demand for services such as air conditioning), and vulnerability in terms of global food supply (as Singapore imports more than 90% of its food). The country is also focusing on developing its R&D capacity in the field of climate science. The Centre for Climate Research Singapore was established by Meteorological Service Singapore in 2013 to enhance in-house capacity in climate science and modelling in Singapore and the wider Southeast Asia region.

Singapore, as a member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is party to the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2009-2015. Within this blueprint, enhanced regional co-operation on the topic of climate change is promoted, including specific actions such as encouraging efforts to develop an ASEAN Climate Change Initiative (ACCI) and developing regional strategies to enhance capacity for adaptation, low carbon economy, and promote public awareness to address effects of climate change. NGOs such as the independent Singapore Environment Council and WWF also operate, with the former running an annual Schools’ Green Audit Award to encourage children to cut down on energy and water usage, and to reduce waste and recycle.

Energy supply

Singapore is largely dependent on energy imports, importing all its crude oil and natural gas. In 2013, 160 mtoe of energy products were imported, with primary energy consumption approximately 16.4 mtoe. Gas makes up approximately 75% of primary energy consumption and fuels approximately 92% of electric power generation. A further 12% of the country’s energy consumption is diesel, with the remainder predominantly fuel oil.

 

In 2013, Singapore opened a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, enabling it to diversify its natural gas imports from countries other than Malaysia and Indonesia, and to support trading. The terminal can presently accommodate a throughput of 6m tonnes per annum (Mtpa) and store up to 540,000m³. Plans for the terminal’s Phase 3 expansion were announced in 2014. These will add additional storage of 260,000m³ and raise throughput to around 11 Mtpa.

 

Despite challenges such as the country’s small size and dense urban landscape, Singapore is also developing its solar photovoltaic (PV) technology capability, which will help facilitate the deployment of solar power on a larger scale. As of the third quarter of 2014, it had an installed capacity for its grid-connected solar PV systems of 24MW peak, up from 0.4MW peak in 2008. The country is also home to a large solar production facility owned by REC Solar ASA, which produced 722MW of solar panels in 2012. The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore was established in 2008 at the National University of Singapore. The country does not have any mandated renewable energy targets, although there has been some discussion of targets, including a report of the government’s Economic Strategies Committee in 2010 which recommended that the country should aim to have 5% of peak energy demand supplied from renewable energy sources by 2020. Through projects such as the SolarNova programme (led by the Economic Development Board), Singapore plans to raise the adoption of solar power to 350 MW peak by 2020, about 5% of 2020 peak electricity demand.

 

Energy demand

Energy consumption is increasing in Singapore, with electricity sales growing at 1.6% between 2012 and 2013. Industrial electricity consumption grew at 1.4%, commerce and services grew by 2.9% and the household sector by 1.9%.

Energy efficiency is critical for Singapore, particularly given its small size (707.18km2) and the fact that it is highly urbanised. Singapore established an Energy Efficiency Programme Office (E2PO) in 2007 to promote and facilitate the adoption of energy efficiency initiatives. The E2PO is a multi-agency committee led by the National Environment Agency and the Energy Market Authority, and comprises: the Economic Development Board; Land Transport Authority; Building and Construction Authority; Housing and Development Board; Infocomm Authority of Singapore; Agency for Science, Technology and Research; Urban Redevelopment Authority; Jurong Town Corporation; and National Research Foundation. MEWR and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are also represented in the committee.

Numerous energy efficiency incentive schemes are operated via E2PO including the ‘Design for Efficiency Scheme’ whereby new industrial facility owners who plan to integrate energy and resource efficiency improvements into manufacturing development plans at an early stage can benefit from a grant that funds up to 50% of the design workshop fees up to SGD600,000 (USD459,458). For owners and operators of existing commercial and industrial facilities undertaking energy assessments, the ‘Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme’ co-funds up to 50% of the qualifying cost up to SGD200,000 (USD153,153) per facility. The ‘Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies’ allows for owners and operators of industrial facilities investing in energy efficient equipment or technologies to apply for a 20% grant up to SGD4m (USD3.06m). Companies that wish to build their capabilities in energy management and energy efficiency (EE) can also participate in the industry-focused ‘Energy Efficiency National Partnership’ programme comprising courses and workshops on EE, as well as an annual EENP Award to recognise companies and energy management teams’ efforts and achievements.

Other initiatives coordinated by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) focus on new and existing buildings and aim to accelerate the pace of green building development towards meeting the national target of at least 80% of buildings achieve the BCA Green Mark Certified rating by 2030, with an emphasis on raising energy efficiency standards in buildings. Among the measures, the Building Control Act has been enhanced with the inclusion of the Building Control (Environmental Sustainability) Regulations, to require a minimum environmental sustainability standard that is equivalent to the Green Mark Certified Level for new buildings and existing ones that undergo major retrofitting since 2008.  The Green Mark Incentive Scheme for New Buildings was introduced to accelerate the adoption of environmentally-friendly green building technologies and building design practices in new buildings. In addition, the Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings and Premises was launched under BCA’s 3rd Green Building Masterplan to encourage small and medium-sized building owners and tenants to adopt energy efficiency improvements and measures within their buildings and premises.

Energy intensive companies in the industry and transport sectors are required under the 2012 Energy Conservation Act (ECA) to implement basic energy management practices. In addition to the energy management provisions stipulated under the ECA, the government has stated that it will continue to price energy according to market forces without subsidises so that there is no waste or over-use. Several initiatives are currently in place to encourage energy efficient purchasing, such as the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle scheme where new cars that emit less than 160g of CO2 per kilometre receive rebates up to SGD20,000 (or additional taxes up to SGD20,000 for new cars that emit more than 210g for CO2 per kilometre), and a mandatory energy labelling scheme for home appliances (air-conditioners, refrigerators, televisions and clothes dryers), which requires suppliers to show the estimated annual energy consumption and costs of using the product on energy labels. To help consumers avoid being locked into the high energy consumption and cost of operating energy inefficient appliances, the government introduced Minimum Energy Performance Standards for energy-intensive appliances such as air-conditioners and refrigerators since September 2011. The adoption of energy saving habits at home is also being promoted through online resources such as the E2Singapore website, mobile applications such as the Energy Audit and Life Cycle Cost Calculator, media publicity and community outreach.

Carbon pricing

Singapore does not currently have a carbon price. However, in a speech in 2010 Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted the importance of pricing carbon to induce behavioural change at the consumer level as well as the need to work through the market to deal with carbon emissions. Singapore will need to consider the impact of a carbon pricing scheme including learning from the experiences of other countries.

Transportation

Transport accounted for 15% of Singapore’s CO2 emissions in 2010. Given Singapore’s tight land constraints, the government’s priority is to create a space-efficient, environmentally-sustainable and energy efficient transportation network.

The government is promoting public transport for commuting, and has set a target of having 75% of all trips made during the morning and evening peak hours by public transport by 2020. The rail network is being doubled from its current coverage of 178km to 280km by 2020. The public bus fleet is also due to grow by 20%. For shorter distances, the government is encouraging walking and cycling. The Walk2Ride programme is adding more than 200km of walkways by 2018.  In addition, the amount of off-road cycling paths is being expanded to 190km in 2020, with more bicycle racks installed across the island to cater to different commuting needs.

The growth rate of the vehicle population and their usage are actively managed, with, the growth rate of vehicles set at 0.5% per annum and set to be lowered to 0.25% from February 2015 through the auction of permits to own a vehicle, called the Certificate of Entitlement Scheme, which was introduced in 1990. The Electronic Road Pricing System, introduced in 1998, limits vehicle usage by imposing a congestion charge on any vehicle passing under a gantry during hours when it is operational. As outlined above, the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme, introduced in 2013 under the Road Traffic Act, encourages the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles by providing a rebate or imposing a surcharge on registration fees depending on the emissions levels of the car being purchased.  The government also aims to improve fuel economy through the Fuel Economy Labelling Scheme (FELS). Introduced in 2009, FELS requires all automobile retailers to display the fuel economy of passenger car and light goods vehicles.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Singapore has started a multi-year project to measure its carbon inventory for vegetation and land uses covering the period from 1990 onwards. Initiated by Singapore’s National Parks Board in collaboration with the Austrian Natural Resources Management and International Co-operation Agency, the project will establish a monitoring system to track GHG absorption and emissions from land-use and land-use change.

 

 

Adaptation

Minimum reclamation levels for newly reclaimed land have been raised by 1m since late 2011, in addition to the previous level of 1.25m above the highest recorded tide level observed before 1991.   The development of drainage infrastructure over the last 20 years has reduced flood prone areas from approximately 3,200ha in the 1970s to 49 ha as at January 2012. More recent flood alleviation projects include the further widening and deepening of drains and canals and the completion of the Marina Barrage, a dam built across Singapore’s Marina Channel and which also provides a freshwater reservoir for the country. In addition to this reservoir, desalination plants and the ‘NEWater’ project which treats wastewater using dual-membrane ultraviolet technology also provide a further source of freshwater for domestic and industrial use (as the country has limited internal freshwater supplies, the availability of water is a key identified vulnerability for Singapore as a result of climate change).

Singapore is situated in a region where vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, are endemic.  Although urbanisation and population growth contribute significantly to dengue transmission, higher mean temperature and absolute humidity could result in higher dengue incidence. Concerns regarding the relationship between increases in ambient temperature and vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever have led to the enhancement of the National Environment Agency’s integrated vector borne disease programme that includes vector, virus and case surveillance, outbreak prevention and control, and public education and community mobilisation. The programme is supported by research and existing legislations such as the Infectious Disease Act and the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act. Climate change may also exacerbate Singapore’s urban heat island effect, and substantial increases in urban greenery were outlined in the 2015 Sustainable Singapore Blueprint and are being co-ordinated by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the National Parks Board, and the Housing and Development Board.

To date, Singapore does not have any litigation listed.

Singapore’s constitution took effect in August 1965 and is the supreme law. The country is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government representing constituencies. General elections must be conducted within five years of the first sitting of parliament; however, since the legislative assembly election in 1959 the government has always been formed by the People’s Action Party, either outright, or with an overwhelming majority. A President is elected by popular vote every six years and is largely ceremonial (although has veto powers over certain executive decisions). Together with the President, a Prime Minister-led cabinet forms the executive branch of the government.

The parliament is made up of elected MPs, non-constituency MPs (the best performing losers of the general election), and nominated MPs (appointed by the President). As a result of the latest 2015 general election, there are presently 89 elected MPs, up to nine non-constituency MPs and nine nominated MPs. The next general election must be held by April 2021. The parliament, together with the President, constitutes the legislative branch of government.
Bills are usually introduced by a minister on behalf of the government, but any MP may introduce a bill (known as a Private Member’s Bill). Bills go through three readings, with debate and voting on the bill occurring at the second reading. After the second reading, bills progress either to a Committee of the Whole Parliament or to a Select Committee for detailed examination, debate and amendments. Bills are passed after their third reading in parliament, and in most cases, are then scrutinised by the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. If approved by this council, the bill is then assented to by the President before being published in the Government Gazette to become a law. Other government policies such as strategies and blueprints are produced by various relevant government departments, committees and agencies. These policies either act as executive government policy, or provide implementation guidance for legislative acts.

Last modified 22 August, 2017