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Online Platform on Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from COVID-19

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Singapore

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment

Grace Fu

I would like to thank Japan for organising this timely initiative. I am pleased to be participating in a meeting on climate change, convened by a close friend of Singapore. Let me make three brief points on how we can rebuild post-COVID in a sustainable and inclusive manner, in line with the Paris goals.

2 First, we need to show commitment by submitting enhanced National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS). Setting long-term decarbonisation plans will demonstrate our commitment to stay the course
in our fight against climate change. It can also support our recovery plans by unlocking new economic opportunities and jobs in areas such as carbon and sustainability services, environment management, and climate science. This was why Singapore submitted our NDC and LEDS in March and we encourage other Parties to do likewise, thereby strengthening the momentum of global climate action at this critical time.[1][2]

3 Second, let us redesign our cities for greater sustainability, resilience, resource-efficiency, with smaller carbon footprints. Singapore is committed to doing so. My Ministry was recently renamed the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment to reflect the importance of sustainability in our national agenda.

・Notwithstanding COVID-19, we are pressing on to build new sustainable towns and make our towns greener. Our latest project in Tengah, which will house 42,000 new homes, will
feature smart lighting, solar panels, centralised cooling systems, and car-lite features, all aimed at reducing emissions.[3] We will also make existing towns more sustainable through our Green Towns Programme, where we aim to reduce energy consumption by 15% by 2030.[4]

・We will ramp up deployment of solar energy, our most viable alternative energy option. We achieved our 2020 solar target of 350 megawatt-peak earlier this year and have set a more ambitious target of at least 2 gigawatt-peak by 2030 despite our size limitation.[5] This requires innovative use of space, including deploying a 60 megawatt-peak floating solar photovoltaic system on one of our reservoirs.[6] When completed next year, it will be one of the world’s largest single in-land floating solar farm.

・We will harness new synergies across sectors to enhance our resource resilience and energy efficiency. We will be investing more than S$5 billion in Tuas Nexus, the first in the world, which is an integrated development that will co-locate a waste management facility with a water reclamation plant.[7] This will allow us to harness synergies from the water-energy-waste nexus, thereby allowing us to achieve savings of more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

・We will transform Singapore into a “City in Nature” by expanding our green spaces and integrating nature into urban areas and pathways.[8] We aim to plant a million trees across Singapore by 2030. Apart from providing Singaporeans with a higher quality of life, these initiatives will protect and enhance our natural ecosystems that provide carbon storage and sequestration.

We are greening our transport and making Singapore a car-lite nation. We aim to phase out private vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2040, and have all vehicles running on cleaner energy.[9]

4 Third, we need to invest in needle-moving low-emissions solutions to support the transition to a low-carbon future. As a small and highly urbanised city-state with limited scope to deploy renewable energy at scale, Singapore is investing and pursuing partnerships in emerging technologies, such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage
(CCUS) and hydrogen, to drive the decarbonisation of our electricity grid and industrial processes. The government has earmarked S$20 billion over the next five years to support research in high impact areas such as climate change and health and biomedical sciences, to study their interlinkages and pioneer solutions.

5 In a subject as complex as climate change, there is much to discover, to understand, and to learn from each other. This Online Platform will be a rich resource to draw inspiration and pursue collaborative partnerships as we each work to build a more sustainable and resilient post-COVID future. I look forward to working with colleagues to advance global climate action and achieve a successful COP-26 next year.

. . . . . .

References
[1] Singapore’s Nationally Determined Contribution:
https://www4.unfccc.int/sites/ndcstaging/PublishedDocuments/Singapore%20First/Singapore's%20Update%20of%201st%20NDC.pdf

[2] Singapore's Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy:
https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/SingaporeLongtermlowemissionsdevelopmentstrategy.pdf

[3] Tengah Town:
https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/about-us/history/hdb-towns-your-home/tengah

[4] Singapore’s Green Towns Programme:
https://www.mnd.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/view/rejuvenating-and-greening-hdb-towns-for-sustainable-living

[5] The Future of Singapore’s Energy Story:
https://www.ema.gov.sg/cmsmedia/News/Media%20Release/2019/Media-Release-Energy-Story-20191029.pdf

[6] Tengeh Reservoir Floating Solar Photovoltaic System:
https://www.pub.gov.sg/news/pressreleases/PUBandSembcorpCommenceConstructionof60MWPFloatingSolarPhotovoltaicSystemonTengehReservoir?fbclid=IwAR2qJ_UXsuUkxORdaP0_w9mh5hU-fsP1eqS8ZsmNww1Ch38b81xKNptKu9U

[7] Tuas Nexus:
https://www.nea.gov.sg/media/news/news/index/tuas-nexus-singapore-s-first-integrated-water-and-solid-waste-treatment-facility-begins-construction

[8] Singapore as a “City in Nature”: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/about-us/city-in-nature

[9] Singapore’s Land Transport Master Plan 2040:
https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/dam/ltagov/who_we_are/our_work/land_transport_master_plan_2040/pdf/LTA%20LTMP%202040%20eReport.pdf

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Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.

Singapore Singapore

Last update17 Sept. 2020

Message

Full text

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment

Grace Fu

Categories

Response
Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
Recovery
Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
Redesign
Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.

1.Climate mitigation measures

  • Others

    Redesign
    Tuas Nexus
    We will be investing more than S$5 billion in Tuas Nexus, which will be the world's first integrated development that will co-locate a water reclamation plant with a waste management facility. Co-location of these facilities allows for the integration of used water and solid waste treatment processes to effectively harness synergies from water-energy-waste nexus. At Tuas Nexus, food waste slurry from the waste management facility will be pumped to the water reclamation plant and co-digested with dewatered sludge, generating up to three times more biogas than conventional sludge treatment processes. The biogas will then be piped back and combusted at the waste management facility to enhance overall plant thermal efficiency. The electricity generated will be sufficient to not only sustain the operations of Tuas Nexus, but provide excess electricity that will be fed back to the grid. Being a zero energy facility, Tuas Nexus will achieve savings of more than 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The excess electricity is expected to be able to power up to 300,000 four-room apartments in Singapore.
    The Tuas Nexus is an innovative and integrated solution that will maximise resource and energy recovery, which will help to reduce Singapore’s emissions footprint post-COVID-19. It will allow Singapore to meet our capacity requirements to manage and treat various waste streams and used water in a sustainable way. The first phase of construction of Tuas Nexus has begun, and it is set to be completed in phases from 2025 onwards.
    ContactPUB, Singapore’s Water Agency;
    National Environment Agency
  • Building sector

    ResponseRecoveryRedesign
    Co-creation of Singapore Green Building Masterplan with industry and community

    Singapore is reaching out to a wide range of stakeholders, who are spatially dispersed due to telecommuting arrangements (e.g. using digital platforms), to better understand public perception on how green buildings can play a part in post-COVID-19 recovery.
    ContactBuilding and Construction Authority
  • Land sector

    Redesign
    Safeguarding Singapore's carbon sinks

    Singapore will continue safeguarding and enhancing our natural ecosystems, which provide carbon storage and sequestration, and are protected within our four legally gazetted nature reserves in Singapore. We will continue to grow our nature park networks, which serve as complementary habitats and buffers to our nature reserves against the impact of urbanisation. We aim to have at least 550 hectares of nature parks by 2030, including some in key coastal and marine environments.
    ContactNational Parks Board
  • Transition to renewable energy

    Redesign
    Pushing Ahead with Alternative Energy

    Singapore is continuing to pursue alternative energy despite COVID-19. This includes various efforts to develop hydrogen as a fuel source. For example, in March 2020, five Singapore and two Japanese companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop ways to use hydrogen as a low-carbon energy source with the support of the National Research Foundation and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. This is in addition to a feasibility study commissioned by the National Climate Change Secretariat, in conjunction with the Singapore Economic Development Board and Energy Market Authority.
    ContactNational Research Foundation
    Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
    National Climate Change Secretariat
    Singapore Economic Development Board
    Energy Market Authority
  • Transition to renewable energy

    Response
    Pushing ahead with solar panel deployment

    Solar energy is one of the key switches in Singapore's Energy Story to secure a cleaner, affordable and more reliable energy future. Despite the disruption from COVID-19, Singapore achieved its 2020 solar deployment target of 350 megawatt-peak (MWp) in the first quarter of the year, and we remain committed to achieving our next solar target of at least 2 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2030.

    Singapore has been moving ahead with the deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in 2020. Construction of the 60 MWp floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir commenced in August 2020. The deployment of floating solar modules helps to overcome our land constraints while facilitating greater deployment of solar PV systems. Once the project begins full operations in 2021, the power generated will be sufficient to power our local water treatment plants. This allows Singapore to integrate green technology with water treatment and enhance our energy resilience as we emerge from COVID-19.

    We have also capitalised on our COVID-19 response measures to extend solar PV deployment. At the new community recovery facility outside Changi Exhibition Centre, about 1,130 solar panels provides 20 per cent of the recovery facility's projected energy consumption. The system includes a roof array mounted on two temporary "solar tents", which are the first of their kind.
    ContactEnergy Market Authority

2.Climate adaptation measures

  • Infrastructure

    Redesign
    Nature-based solutions for climate adaptation
    Singapore will continue naturalising waterways and waterbodies in Singapore's gardens and parks, and incorporate the same designs (e.g. floodplains) in our coastal and riverine parks to mitigate the impact of sea level rise. We will also conserve and restore our mangrove forests, as they help to dissipate waves and trap sediment, potentially serving as a flexible form of coastal defence while preventing erosion. These measures are part of our transformation of Singapore into a City in Nature, which we are accelerating, so Singaporeans can enjoy through greater access to nature and its therapeutic benefits in the "new normal".
    ContactNational Parks Board
  • Infrastructure

    Redesign
    Restoring nature in our urban areas

    Singapore will intensify the greening of our buildings and infrastructure, streetscapes, and industrial areas. We will increase skyrise greenery through the adoption of vertical green walls and rooftop gardens, turn our roads into Nature Ways through the use of multi-tiered planting to mimic natural forest structures, and plant one million trees across Singapore over the next decade. This will provide more pervasive and naturalistic greenery beyond our parks and gardens, which will help to mitigate the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, and cool and beautify our city. Singaporeans will also benefit from nature's effects on their health and well-being in the "new normal".
    ContactNational Parks Board
  • Agr/food security

    Redesign
    Supporting Innovation

    Singapore is supporting agri-food tech accelerators such as GROW to identify, groom, and invest in promising agri-food tech startups and contribute to the vibrancy of the local ecosystem. GROW has designed an accelerator program called the Singapore Food Bowl, which aims to address Singapore’s most pressing agri-food system challenges and opportunities brought about by COVID-19. Initiatives such as the Singapore Food Bowl will be important in driving activity and interest in the agri-food tech ecosystem, as well as identifying novel innovations that can be applied to Singapore’s landscape.
    ContactEnterprise Singapore
  • Agr/food security

    Redesign
    30by30 goal to produce 30% of Singapore's nutritional needs by 2030

    To achieve this ambitious goal, Singapore has to push the boundaries of innovation towards productive, climate-resilient and resource-efficienct urban food solutions. We will do so with less than 1% of land set aside for agriculture food production and in a way that uses less water, less energy and generates less waste / keeps waste in the loop. In the long-run, the 30by30 goal also looks at anchoring agri-inputs to sustain production indefinitely. We already have first mover farms producing eggs, fish and vegetables toward the 30by30 goal. Examples include EcoARK, SAT who use recirculating aquaculture systems on floating fish farms that are highly productive and adaptable against negative environmental impacts. Such urban food solutions will benefit Singapore directly in food security and can be exported as solutions to other similar cities as us. Alternative proteins are a potential game changer which would allow Singapore to produce more of our protein needs in a productive and sustainable manner.

    The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment and Singapore Food Agency are working closely with other government agencies, the industry and Institutes of Higher Learning/Research Institutions to develop the 30by30 plan via 5 strategies - i) space and infrastructure, ii) regulatory reviews, iii) research, innovation and enterprise, iv) sustainable eco-system growth and v) public engagement and rallying citizens to do their part.
    ContactMinistry of Sustainability and Environment
    Singapore Food Agency

3.Cross-cutting measures

  • Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricing

    ResponseRecovery
    Enhancing resilience of the financial sector

    As part of the upcoming 2020 Singapore FinTech Festival, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched the S$1.75 million MAS Global FinTech Innovation Challenge on 8 June 2020. Themed “Building Resilience, Seizing Opportunities and Emerging Stronger”, the challenge seeks to recognise ground-breaking solutions that enable the financial sector to respond better to two key global challenges – the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. MAS will work with the industry and global FinTech companies to develop and recognise innovative solutions to promote and support both sustainable and green finance around the world. 
    ContactMonetary Authority of Singapore
  • Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricing

    Redesign
    Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is introducing the Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management to enhance financial institutions’ resilience to and management of environmental risk. The Guidelines, co-created with the industry, sets out MAS’ supervisory expectations for banks, insurers and asset managers in their governance, risk management, and disclosure of environmental risk.
    ContactMonetary Authority of Singapore
  • Others

    Recovery
    Supporting Green Industries

    Singapore introduced several measures to support businesses hurt by COVID-19. Businesses in green industries such as clean energy and electric vehicles, and businesses pursuing resource efficiency projects, are eligible for these business support measures. Examples of the measures include the Enterprise Financing Scheme which covers areas such as Fixed Assets, Project, Working Capital and Trade , enhanced Enterprise Development Grant and Special Situation Fund for Startups. These schemes will ensure that green businesses will continue to thrive and contribute to Singapore's economic recovery.

    In addition, Singapore also focused on addressing industry needs and national initiatives by developing standards that build sustainable and resilient industries and enterprises. Green standards encompassing renewables, energy efficiency and storage will be developed to support Singapore's shift to a low carbon future.
    ContactEnterprise Singapore
  • Governance

    RecoveryRedesign
    30by30 Express Taskforce

    To support the ramping up of local food production and strengthen Singapore's food security, a multi-agency taskforce has been formed to drive and coordinate inter-agency efforts. The taskforce will oversee efforts to accelerate the ramping of local food production, address hurdles related to the setting up or expansion of farms, and ensure that farms are highly productive, sustainable and resilient. The taskforce is chaired by the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment.
    ContactSingapore Food Agency
  • Citizens' lives (behaviour change) / employment

    RecoveryRedesign
    Promoting gardening with edible plants

    A Gardening with Edibles programme was launched in April 2020, to encourage the public to garden at or close to home with edible plants. Seed packets were distributed to interested households, and spaces for community gardening will continue to be expanded. The programme will help to enhance public awareness of the value of food (thereby supporting efforts to reduce food wastage), improve mental well-being through the therapeutic effects of gardening, improve social and psychological resilience, and allow citizens to play a tangible role in the ownership and stewardship of our island's nature.
    ContactNational Parks Board

4.Other environmental measures

  • Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agriculture

    ResponseRecoveryRedesign
    Long-term land use planning

    Land use planning in Singapore is premised on building sustainability and resilience for our city. The long-term approach to planning involves broad strategies, identifying land for various needs, and establishing Singapore’s overall development pace. These then lead into planning for the necessary infrastructure and resources to support the proposed land use. Our planning process allows adjustments to ensure plans stay relevant as the plans are reviewed regularly. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Singapore will continue to work with stakeholders and refine our plans to take into consideration changing needs, including any implications that COVID-19 may bring.
    ContactMinistry of National Development
    Urban Redevelopment Authority
  • Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agriculture

    Redesign
    Ensuring a healthy ecosystem

    To achieve a sustainable urban ecosystem that will help ameliorate the effects of climate change, we will carry out recovery plans for over 70 additional animal and plant species, and enhance 30 hectares of forest, marine, coastal and ecological habitats in at least half of our gardens, parks, and streetscapes by 2030.
    ContactNational Parks Board

5.International Cooperation

  • COVID19 recovery and other environmental issues

    ResponseRecoveryRedesign
    Training programme on disaster risk reduction

    The Singapore Cooperation Programme is partnering the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) to provide technical assistance to fellow developing countries through a joint training programme on "Introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)". This online course will be conducted via four webinars (23 Sep, 30 Sep, 7 Oct and 14 Oct 2020), and is open to government officials from all developing countries.

    The course examines key principles of DRR and the hardcoding of resilience into policy, implementation action and human behaviour. Drawing lessons from the COVID-19 global pandemic which demonstrated the ‘new normal’ of interconnected risk, participants will learn about the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, interlinkages with International Health Regulations, and possible applications to their State’s existing policy and recovery plans. The course will also cover Singapore’s approach to integrated risk management and multi-stakeholder approach to crisis recovery in the context of COVID-19. UNDRR will provide globally accepted tools to help participants become familiar with developing risk-informed strategies and plans that link DRR, climate action and development.
    ContactMinistry of Foreign Affairs Singapore