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COP26 Climate Summit and Singapore's contribution

In line with the COP26 goal, Singapore agreed to maintain the ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The Minister for Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore, Ms. Grace Fu, shared that Singapore will now review its climate targets - and the country is not afraid to take bold action, despite its limitations being a small island nation with limited potential to develop renewable energy infrastructure.


Background


For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country around the world for global climate summits – called “Conference of the Parties” (COPs). This year was the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26. With the UK as President, COP26 took place in Glasgow.


One of the key goals of COP26 is to put policies in place enabling the world to achieve net-zero. This involves cutting greenhouse gas emissions to a level where global warming will be kept under 1.5 degrees. Thus, retain a planet that is liveable for communities and nature.


Singapore's commitment


Singapore only contributes about 0.1 per cent of global carbon emissions but has been actively moving towards net-zero through its Paris Agreement commitments. In its latest NDC, released in 2020, Singapore stated an aim of “achieving net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century”. In addition, Singapore is reviewing its overall climate goals. Ms. Fu said:


We will go back and look at what we need to do, look at our responsibilities and review our position. We will review the NDC seriously. This whole package requires us as a party to take them seriously.

Ms. Fu believes that Singapore must convince and encourage Singaporeans to also take collective action in order to achieve its goals.


Over the course of COP26, Singapore signed up to several partnership coalitions: (1) The Powering Past Coal Alliance, (2) the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, (3) the Global Methane Pledge, (4) the Greening Government Initiative (GGI), (5) the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C), and (6) the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.


One of the biggest constraints to Singapore’s climate ambitions is its limited land space. The country's carbon emissions can be divided into two main sources:

  1. Industrial activity (46%)

  2. Power generation (39%)

Both sectors require carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for carbon sequestration, which takes up a large area of land space. Therefore, Singapore has to approach its decarbonisation pathways with creative thinking. For example, it has deployed solar panels on floating platforms. Besides, Singapore is also looking to import low-carbon electricity from neighbouring countries and seeking to incorporate green hydrogen and carbon-capture storage technologies into the energy mix in the medium term.


Get in touch for more information about business opportunities in Singapore:

Mark Edward Perry

Head of Trade at the Danish Embassy in Singapore

Phone: +65 9088 5567

Email: markpe@um.dk

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