SINGAPORE: The Green Plan 2030 is not a “compilation of existing initiatives”, but a long-term and living plan that will evolve as Singapore progresses, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Thursday (Mar 4).
“Some have asked if the Green Plan is just a compilation of existing initiatives ... it is not,” said Ms Fu, who was speaking during the joint segment on sustainability at the Committee of Supply debate.
The plan, which is spearheaded by the education, national development, transport, sustainability and the environment, trade and industry ministries, charts Singapore’s green targets over the next 10 years.
“We will update our targets and strategies as new technologies and practicable solutions avail themselves. The Green Plan is also not just an MSE (Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment) or even a government plan, but a blueprint that we have set out for ourselves as a nation,” said Ms Fu.
“Everyone must work together to achieve our vision. While some targets are existing, new and enhanced targets have been included.”
Some new initiatives under the plan, which was unveiled last month, include requiring all new car registrations to be cleaner-energy models from 2030, and more than doubling the targeted number of electric vehicle charging points by 2030.
The plan also builds on Singapore’s 2030 aim to reduce the waste sent to the landfill by 30 per cent, aiming for a 20 per cent reduction by 2026.
Singapore will also aim for at least 20 per cent of schools to be carbon neutral by 2030 “for a start”, with the rest of the schools to follow, working towards a two-thirds reduction of net carbon emissions in the sector by 2030.
A COMMITMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT
Ms Fu noted that the Green Plan is a “commitment” from the Government to present and future generations to chart a common vision for a sustainable future and a roadmap for everyone.
“Through the Green Plan, sustainability will shape our economy, our infrastructure, our way of life. It will fundamentally change how we live, work and play,” she added.
Ms Fu also noted that the Government will set the broad policy direction and the public sector will “lead the change”.
She also announced that the public sector will set a carbon emissions target for the first time as part of the Green Plan.
It is also important that the Green Plan sparks a national conversation and energises Singaporeans to take action, said Ms Fu.
She pointed out that sustainability is not without costs, and just as Singaporeans pay for security and social services, they will have to pay a bit more for greener goods and services, adjust to less convenience in daily lives, or re-skill for green jobs in new industries.
These costs cannot be incurred without a “national consensus”, Ms Fu said.
“While climate change may feel abstract for individuals, it is our individual actions that determine the collective outcome … Our consumption pattern drive industry,” she added.
The minister also said the sustainability sector could bring new business opportunities that will benefit Singapore and Singaporeans.
The Green Plan would be a “solemn pledge” to future generations of Singaporeans that there will always be a Singapore, if they work together.
“We will face many grave threats, but we will transform challenges into opportunities. This is the Singapore DNA,” she said.
“We will take bold and collective action to create a sustainable and liveable home. This is a pledge that Singaporeans today must keep, to give our children the confidence to pursue their dreams, raise their families with hope and optimism and look forward to a brighter, better future.”