SINGAPORE: When you wake up in the morning to get ready for work, you switch off the solar-powered fan in your bedroom and head to the shower.
Standing under newly replaced shower fittings that lighten the utilities bill, you consider heading up to the community garden on the roof of the HDB multistorey car park to grab some fresh tomatoes after your morning routine.
As you leave the bathroom and head to the kitchen to have breakfast, the smart LED lights in the house come on. Your children are getting ready to go to school on a cleaner-energy bus. At their carbon-neutral school, they will learn about climate change and compost their food waste for the school’s community garden.
Motion sensor lights in the common areas come alive as you leave the house for work and you make your way down to the dual bicycle racks where you parked your two-wheeler.
Next comes the 40-minute journey to your office. As you ride through park connectors and take in the greenery, you think about having a weekend picnic at the park 10 minutes away from your home.
Just as you arrive at your office housed in a super low-energy building, it starts to drizzle. You try to remember if you closed the windows before you left the house. The urban water harvesting system at your block collects the rainwater to recycle it for non-potable uses.
All this and more could soon be a reality for Singapore by 2030, with the unveiling of the Singapore Green Plan on Wednesday (Feb 10).
READ: Singapore unveils Green Plan 2030, outlines green targets for next 10 years
The plan charts Singapore’s green targets over the next 10 years, and is spearheaded by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of National Development (MND), the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Transport (MOT).
It also positions Singapore to achieve its long-term net-zero emissions goal “as soon as viable”, and strengthens the country’s commitments under the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Agreement, said the five ministries in a joint media release on Wednesday.
SCHOOLS AND TRANSPORT
The plan laid out some new initiatives, building on Singapore’s current green goals.
One objective is to reduce the waste sent to the landfill by 30 per cent, aiming for a 20 per cent reduction by 2026, said the five ministries in the media release.
The Government aims 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 from the school sector by 2030.
In schools, the Green Plan will be supported by the Eco Stewardship programme, to “strengthen the inculcation of informed, responsible and sustainability-conscious” mindsets and habits in youth.
READ: In pushing for climate policy, Louis Ng recognises need for trade-offs and to cushion impact on businesses
Another initiative requires all new car registrations to be cleaner-energy models from 2030, and that the number of electric vehicle charging points be doubled by 2030.
Under the plan, Singapore will only purchase cleaner-energy public buses and encourage walking and cycling.
By 2030, the country hopes to achieve 75 per cent of mass public transport modal share. It also looks to expand the rail network from about 230km today to 360km, and triple cycling paths from 460km today to 1,320km.
READ: Singapore targets to halve peak emissions by 2050, achieve net zero emissions 'as soon as viable' in second half of century
The Green Plan also laid out some new targets for green spaces, water and solar energy.
Singapore hopes to double its annual tree planting rate between 2020 and 2030, to plant 1 million more trees across the island. The ministries hope to increase the land area of nature parks by over 50 per cent from the 2020 baseline.
By 2030, every household will be within 10-minute walking distance of a park. By 2035, Singapore hopes to add 1000 ha of green spaces.
Singapore also plans to develop new town concepts. For example, Tengah will have the first car-free HDB town centre.
WATER AND ENERGY
With the plan, the Government aims to reduce household water consumption to 130 litres per capita per day.
Under the climate-friendly household programme, shower fitting replacements will encourage water conservation and water-efficient practices for households, said the authorities in the media release.
A mandatory water efficiency labelling scheme will also be implemented.
READ: More than 300,000 HDB households to get e-vouchers to buy energy- and water-efficient appliances
Under the 10-year HDB Green Towns programme, Singapore will introduce smart LED lighting that uses 60 per cent less energy than normal LED lighting, and double the total solar capacity on HDB rooftops by 2030.
The Government also aims to reduce energy consumption in existing HDB towns by 15 per cent by 2030.
Those who stay in HDBs can look forward to urban farms and community gardens on the top decks of multi-story carparks. New HDB towns will also be greener and more sustainable - Tengah town will have a centralised cooling system.
The Jurong Lake district will be developed as a model “sustainable mixed-use district” with district cooling, solar power deployment and super low-energy buildings.
The Green Plan will be a “living plan”, said the ministries, which evolves as they develop and refine Singapore’s strategies. It will take into account technological developments, and incorporate a “continuous national engagement” process.
The ministries will “actively involve” the public and other partners to further develop ideas and undertake relevant initiatives as part of this national engagement process.
This will begin with a series of Green Plan Conversations this year to seek the views of Singaporeans and to explore potential partnerships. These sessions will be hosted by the ministers overseeing the Green Plan. Other engagements will also be planned throughout the year.
More details on the Green Plan will be released at the upcoming Budget 2021 announcement on Feb 16, as well as during the resultant Committee of Supply Debates in Parliament.