Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC) Louis Ng called for government and industries to reduce the carbon emission in Singapore against climate change worldwide.
Writing on his Facebook page on Thursday (12 March), Mr Ng said that he has raised concerns over climate change in Parliament and proposed for all government ministries to produce a climate compliance certificate to explain their budgets and operations to ensure it is in compliance with Singapore’s climate commitments before budget approval.
In response to Mr Ng’s concern, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean highlighted that a “whole-of-nation” effort is required to meet the country’s climate commitment.
Mr Teo said that it is not necessary to produce a climate compliance certificate from the ministries as their effort in environmental sustainability has been reported in the biennial publication – Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR).
He explained, “The publication takes stock of how Singapore has fared in addressing climate change, water and energy usage, and waste management, amongst other government programmes.”
“In the light of these efforts, there is no need to require the Ministries to produce a climate compliance certificate,” he added.
Mr Teo noted that the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC) allowed various government agencies to be involved in implementing a series of sectoral mitigation measures in order to meet the country’s climate commitments.
Under the Green Building Masterplan, the government implemented the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) initiatives to help increase the extension of green buildings in the country, in compliance with the aim of making Singapore a more sustainable and highly liveable city.
Other than that, Singapore’s public sector also adopted sustainable practices and initiatives through the Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability (PSTLES) which was introduced in 2006 and updated in 2017, according to Mr Teo.
Mr Teo said that PSTLES, which acts as a platform, will leverage the collective capabilities across the Whole-of-Government (WOG) in order to improve the public sector’s resource efficiency and achieve their environmental sustainability commitment.
He added that the government aims to reduce electricity and water consumption, achieve Green Mark standards for buildings, acquire green electronics and paper products, and hold events and functions in venues with at least a Green Mark certified rating through PSTLES initiatives.
Speaking on the increasing of solar deployment, he also mentioned that the SolarNova Programme under PSTLES will combine the demands of deploying solar across public sector buildings and spaces to catalyse Singapore’s solar adoption.
He mentioned that HDB’s target to deploy 540 Megawatt peak (MWp) of solar makes up a big part of the national budget in deploying at least 2 Gigawatt peak (GWp) of solar deployment by 2030.
In addition, Mr Teo noted the government’s intention to enhance the PSTLES initiative into the next phase, saying that more details will be announced this year.
Government works closely with 3P in climate action
At the same time, Mr Ng questioned whether the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) will consider creating a Singapore Carbon Agreement to facilitate the exchange of best practices for emission reductions across the 23 major sectors of Singapore’s economy.
Mr Ng suggested that the agreement could comply with the model of tripartite collaborations like the Singapore Packaging Agreement.
Noting that collective action from all stakeholders is needed for climate action, Minister for MEWR Masagos Zulkifli highlighted that the government has worked together with all stakeholders, included 3P partners – People, Private, and Public – to tackle the issue of climate change affecting the environment.
Mr Masagos said that the ministry has worked out the Singapore’s Climate Action Plan to set out the strategies of climate mitigation across main sectors such as, power, industry, transport, buildings, households, and waste and water sectors.
“Improving energy efficiency is a key strategy that not only contributes to emission reductions, but also enhances companies’ long-term business competitiveness,” he noted.
In 2010, the National Environment Agency (NEA) launched the Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP), which is a voluntary and industry-focused programme in partnership with the Economic Development Board and the Energy Market Authority to support the companies in their energy efficiency efforts, said Mr Masagos. He added that 302 companies have joined the programme as of January this year.
He pointed out that the National Energy Efficiency Conference, organised by NEA every two years, will recognise the achievements of the companies, organisations, and individuals in energy management through the annual EENP Awards.
“These platforms allow companies to share best practices and promote the adoption of energy-efficient technologies,” added Mr Masagos.
Touching on the collaboration between industry-led workgroups to support companies in energy efficiency improvement, Mr Masagos also listed a few groups such as the Singapore Chemical Industry Council Industry Sustainability Committee, the Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers Advisory Committee, and the Food Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Committee.
Meanwhile, he described the manufacturing sector as “heterogeneous” as the sectors contain varied manufacturing processes and custom-made equipment and systems.
As an effort to improve the energy efficiency of these sectors, Mr Masagos said that NEA not only set the energy efficiency standards for common industrial systems and equipment, but also analyses the energy performance of systems and equipment of more than 180 energy-intensive companies regulated under the Energy Conservation Act.
Besides, NEA also shared the findings with individual companies as benchmark against others in their respective manufacturing sub-sectors, said Mr Masagos.