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Green Plan seeks to create new jobs, make use of sustainability as 'competitive advantage' for Singapore

Green Plan seeks to create new jobs, make use of sustainability as 'competitive advantage' for Singapore

File photo. Solar panels are seen here on the rooftop of an office building in Singapore. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A green economy which will seek to create new jobs, transform local industries, and harness sustainability as a competitive advantage, will be part of Singapore's push for sustainable development.

Named as one of the five key pillars in the Singapore Green Plan 2030 which was unveiled on Wednesday (Feb 10), the green economy will include a number of new targets, such as Jurong Island becoming a sustainable energy and chemicals park.

The other four pillars of the Green Plan are entitled: "City in Nature", "Sustainable Living", "Energy Reset" and "Resilient Future".

Described as a “whole-of-nation movement” to advance the national agenda on sustainable development, the Green Plan is spearheaded by the Ministries of Education, National Development, Sustainability and the Environment, Trade and Industry and  of Transport. It aims charts Singapore’s green targets over the next 10 years. 

More details on the Green Plan will be released at the upcoming Budget announcement on Feb 16, as well as during the Committee of Supply debate in Parliament expected later this month.

Under the green economy, Singapore will aim to become a sustainable tourism destination, a leading centre for green finance and services to facilitate Asia’s transition to a low-carbon and sustainable future, as well as a leading regional centre for developing new sustainability solutions, said the ministries in a press release.

Singapore will also develop and trial new technologies for carbon capture, utilisation and storage, as well as study the potential of low-carbon hydrogen and other emerging technology pathways for decarbonisation.

READ: Singapore unveils Green Plan 2030, outlines green targets for next 10 years

When it comes to carbon intensive sectors, the plan will also seek to ensure that new carbon-intensive investments brought into Singapore are among the "best-in-class" when it comes to factors such as carbon efficiency and energy efficiency.

As part of the green plan, the Government also said that it would review the Singapore's carbon tax by 2023.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu had previously noted that the carbon tax was “central” to the country’s climate mitigation strategy, adding that it was the one of the “most comprehensive globally” at 80 per cent of total emissions.

READ: Raising carbon tax, improving public sector’s sustainability standards among MPs’ proposals to tackle climate change

“Our carbon tax framework has been tailored to our context, putting in place a fair, uniform and transparent price signal to incentivise emissions reductions,” she said.

An increase of Singapore's carbon tax was suggested by a number of Members of Parliaments in a parliamentary sitting last week. 

AN "ENERGY RESET"

One of the key initiatives as part of Singapore's "energy reset" is the requiring of all new car registrations to be cleaner-energy models from 2030. The Government also hopes to more than double the targeted number of electric vehicle charging points from 28,000 to 60,000 charging points by 2030. 

This builds on the announcement in last year's Budget where a series of measures, including additional incentives to purchase environmentally friendly vehicles, were introduced as part of Singapore's vision to have all vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040.

When it comes to sustainable towns and districts, the ministries reiterated the previously set 2030 target of reducing energy consumption in existing HDB towns by 15 per cent.

READ: Here’s what life could look like when the new Green Plan is realised in 2030

There are also plans to raise the sustainability standards of our Singapore's buildings through the next edition of the Singapore Green Building Masterplan.

The masterplan will "pave the way" for a low carbon built environment, said the joint-ministry press release. Among other things, it will raise minimum energy performance requirements, as well as review the Green Mark scheme.

On the green energy front, Singapore will aim to increase solar energy deployment by five times to at least 2 gigawatt-peak, which can meet around 3 per cent of its 2030 projected electricity demand and generate enough electricity to power more than 350,000 households a year. It will also continue to diversify its electricity supply with clean electricity imports.

Other goals include promoting sustainable fuels for international trade and travel, as well as increasing solar deployment in Singapore.

"The comprehensive plan will strengthen Singapore’s economic, climate and resource resilience, improve the living environment of Singaporeans, and bring new business and job opportunities," said the ministries.

"It will influence all aspects of our lives, from how we live to how we work, and play, as we work together as a nation to make Singapore a greener and more liveable home."

Source: CNA/mt(rw)

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