Budget debate: Singapore to review 2030 climate targets this year

SINGAPORE – Singapore will review its 2030 climate targets this year in a bid to set itself more ambitious targets.

It comes just weeks after announcing plans to accelerate its longer-term climate plan and ensure emissions reach net zero by or around mid-century.

Announcing the review on Tuesday March 8 during a parliamentary session on Singapore’s green plans, Chief Minister Teo Chee Hean, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change, said: “We are taking a decisive step: one that is necessary, practical and feasible.

“We are making a commitment on behalf of generations of Singaporeans to come, spanning decades into the future.”

Singapore seeks to achieve its climate goals in three ways: by transforming industry, economy and society; exploit low-carbon technologies; and pursuing international collaboration in the form of carbon markets and electricity imports.

Before plans are finalized and the country declares a specific net zero year, there will be consultations with industry and citizen stakeholder groups, as increasing climate ambition, while bringing benefits , would also entail costs and trade-offs, he said.

The Republic has already taken steps to contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.

In 2020, Singapore submitted its 2030 climate target to the United Nations, outlining its goal of having its emissions peak at 65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by that time.

The Republic also said at the time that in the longer term it would aim to halve its emissions from its peak at 33 million tonnes by 2050, with a view to achieving net zero emissions as soon as possible in the second half of the century.

But last month, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said in his budget speech that Singapore would instead advance that net zero target “by or around mid-century”.

To help Singapore meet the target, Wong said he would raise the carbon tax rate from the current $5 per tonne of emissions to between $50 and $80 by 2030.

This is in line with recommendations from the International Monetary Fund, which has set a carbon price floor of US$75 (Singaporean$100) per tonne of emissions for advanced economies or US$50 for high-income emerging market economies. by 2030 in order for the world to avoid more severe climate impacts.

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