GLASGOW: Singapore has called for “urgent collective action to address the global climate crisis” during the delivery of its national statement at COP26 on Tuesday (Nov 9).
Minister for Sustainability and Environment Grace Fu said that multilateral cooperation was essential to delivering successful outcomes at the negotiations in Glasgow. She also committed Singapore to further reviewing and enhancing its future climate goals.
“COP26 must provide a clear roadmap on how to keep 1.5 degrees within reach,” she said. “International climate change cooperation is key to achieving an outcome that is far greater than the sum of our parts.”
“We are a densely populated small city-state with no hinterland and limited access to renewable energy, we do not shy away from taking bold actions,” she said.
Ms Fu highlighted several priority areas for Singapore at COP26, including completing negotiations under the Paris Agreement Work Programme.
The minister has been involved in high-level talks to operationalise Article 6, which covers cooperation among countries to meet their emissions reduction targets, including through international carbon markets.
She also called for “a strong climate finance package for developing countries”, a key aspect of negotiations. During COP26, poorer nations bearing the brunt of climate change impacts have renewed demands for U$100 billion in annual financing to mitigate and adapt, funds that have largely not been mobilised.
In calling for other countries to come forward with ambitious climate targets and low emissions strategies, Ms Fu told the conference that the Singapore Green Plan 2030 had set out “concrete near-term plans” to achieve the country's net zero aspiration.
Climate action this decade is considered essential if the planet is to avoid excessive temperature rise, which would see devastating impacts across the globe.
Southeast Asia will experience a range of worsening conditions and disasters, including dangerous heatwaves, intense rain events, powerful tropical cyclones and coastal cities inundated by rising sea levels.
Ms Fu also encouraged “effective partnerships and alliances to harness low-carbon technologies”, while highlighting Singapore’s efforts to ramp up the deployment of solar energy infrastructure, capping private vehicle growth and phasing out internal combustion engines, planting one million more trees by 2030 and further greening the country’s urban environment.
Singapore is looking at international collaboration in areas such as carbon markets and regional power grids, and working to tap low carbon energy imports from Indonesia, Malaysia and Laos. The government has set a target to import 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2035.
“How fast we can move also depends on the development and maturity of emerging low-carbon technologies such as carbon capture and low-carbon hydrogen. As and when international collaborations and new enabling technologies materialise, we will review and enhance our climate goals,” she said in Singapore's full COP26 statement submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Throughout COP26, Singapore has signed up to several partnership coalitions: The Powering Past Coal Alliance, the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, the Global Methane Pledge, the Greening Government Initiative (GGI) and the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C).
“The climate crisis is a wicked problem too big for any country to solve alone. Each country must pursue clear and effective climate actions that represent its highest possible ambition, in the light of its size, resource endowment, capabilities and constraints. Our national circumstances may be different, but the problem is a shared one,” Minister Fu said in the full submissions.
“Nations cannot do this alone. To achieve an effective transition to a net zero future, we need ‘all hands on deck’.”
Other nations which were represented by a head of state at COP26 delivered their statements during the leaders summit in the first two days of the climate change conference. Ministerial level statements were reserved for an additional segment during the second week of proceedings.
Negotiations are slated to end on Friday.