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COP26: Singapore commits to phasing out unabated coal power by 2050

SINGAPORE: Singapore will phase out the use of unabated coal by 2050, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced on Thursday (Nov 4). 

Unabated coal refers to the burning of coal without carbon capture and storage, a process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide before it can be released into the atmosphere.

The declaration came as Singapore announced its membership of the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

In addition to the 2050 target, Singapore also committed to restricting direct government finance of unabated coal power internationally. 

“Since independence, Singapore’s reliance on coal has been marginal, and makes up less than 2 per cent of its power generation capacity today,” said PMO in a media statement. 

Singapore is among the PPCA's 28 new members and one of the first countries in Asia to join the alliance. 

“The burning of coal is putting billions of people at immediate risk. This is why Singapore has decided to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance,” said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu at the COP26 Energy Presidency Event on Thursday.

She added that Singapore is “fully committed to accelerating the transition to a low carbon future”. 

“We will transform our industry, economy, and society to be more energy and carbon-efficient, and to adopt more low-carbon energy in support of the goals of the Paris Agreement,” she said. 

Singapore aims to use low-carbon energy sources across its economy, as part of its carbon transition and other initiatives under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, said PMO. 

The country will tap “four switches” to transform its energy supply – natural gas, solar, regional power grids and emerging low-carbon alternatives, it added. 

Singapore also signed the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition statement initiated by the UK COP26 Presidency, which is a declaration to “accelerate international momentum for global energy transition”. 

“This is a commitment to international efforts and collaboration to shift away from unabated coal power generation in the 2040s (or as soon as possible thereafter), cease issuances of new permits, and end direct government support for new unabated coal-fired power generation projects worldwide,” said PMO. 

Although Singapore has limited options to deploy renewable energy at scale, its commitment to phase out coal complements its plans to transition to a low carbon future under the Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy, said the PMO.

It added that effective international cooperation is needed to tackle climate change, a complex global challenge, and every country must do its part. 

“Singapore seeks to work with international and regional partners to enable effective collaborations, strengthen consensus and in turn galvanise collective global climate action.”  

Source: CNA/lk(ac)

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