SINGAPORE: The Republic on Wednesday (Sep 21) formalised its pledge to fight climate change, with Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan depositing Singapore’s instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.
The Paris accord, sealed late last year in the French capital, commits countries to make plans to keep global warming at no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels to try to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Dr Balakrishnan signed the Paris Agreement on Apr 22 together with representatives of 174 other countries. According to a joint media statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) on Wednesday, the ratification is a “further affirmation of our support and commitment for climate action”.
By ratifying the agreement, Singapore formalises its pledge to reduce its emission intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030. MFA said this “pledge builds on our existing commitment to reduce, by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent from the business-as-usual level, which Singapore is on track to meet”.
In July, Singapore released its Climate Action Plan, outlining the various measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change.
The Paris agreement received a major boost earlier this month when China and the United States, the two largest emitters, jointly acceded to the deal during a summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping.
For the deal to take effect, 55 parties responsible for at least 55 per cent of global emissions of greenhouse gases must join the accord.
As of Tuesday, 29 parties behind 40 per cent of emissions have given their consent, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Singapore is among at least 30 countries submitting their ratification at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. The global body said other states include Latin American heavyweights Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, as well as Thailand, Bangladesh and major fossil fuel power the United Arab Emirates.