This month saw Singapore making decisive steps toward sustainable development. In addition to the recent motion calling for climate defence to be added as the seventh pillar of Singapore’s Total Defence, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 was launched on 10 February 2021, which was followed by the announcement of Budget 2021 six days later. These initiatives underline Singapore’s commitment to place climate emergency and sustainability at the forefront, having recognised them as perennial threats to its existence that will not slow down despite other present challenges (e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic testing the limits of Singapore’s public health and economic resilience).

The Singapore Green Plan 2030 is part of Singapore’s efforts in strengthening its commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. The Plan positions Singapore to halve its 2030 peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with the long-term aim of achieving net-zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century. The 5 pillars of the Green Plan (i.e. City in Nature, Sustainable Living, Energy Reset, Green Economy, and Resilient Future) align closely with the work that TEMBUSU Asia Consulting (TAC) does in Singapore and the region, such as environmental studies, park development, circular economy, carbon measurement and verification, food security, and climate change mitigation.

In light of this, the Singapore government has allocated funds in the Budget 2021 to enable initiatives under the Green Plan, including the incentivisation of early adoption of electric vehicles (EV) to reduce transport emissions. A S$60 million Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Fund has also been established to support technology adoption by the industry and to reach the 30% self-production target by 2030. Furthermore, Singapore will catalyse capital flows towards sustainable development within and beyond the city-state through green bonds issued for select public infrastructure projects.

TEMBUSU Asia recognises and affirms the Singapore government’s endeavours in pushing for the adoption of more sustainable alternatives and solutions. With UN SDGs at the heart of TAC’s work, it is encouraging to see the government’s directions aligning with our business direction and focal areas. For one, TAC has placed a strong emphasis on building strong waste management and circular economy expertise to provide quality consultancy services to clients who wish to improve their waste management or conduct waste monitoring or reporting. Acute understanding of ecology is also an important focus area in TAC as specialized, niche knowledge on ecology and the environment is necessary for the continual development of a city thriving in nature. Lastly, TAC provides carbon services—such as carbon measurement and verification (M&V)—as well as climate mitigation and adaptation services to push for a greener economy and a more resilient future for Singapore.

This bold and necessary focus on sustainability and the environment in Singapore spells a promising decade ahead. However, much can still be done in the journey for a greener and more sustainable future. Along with additional support and regulatory pushes from the government, businesses and individuals have to be enabled in their respective capacity to tackle climate challenges. This need can be addressed through increased guidance, education, assistance, and opportunities to facilitate more collaboration between the government and individuals and private sectors to catalyse more initiatives for sustainable development. Furthermore, while the Green Plan has set out significant targets to reduce carbon emissions, they need to be reviewed and revised periodically to ensure that Singapore is on track with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C. Nevertheless, TEMBUSU Asia is hopeful that the Green Plan 2030 would propel the nation to be more carbon-conscious, with the continuous monitoring of carbon emissions contributing to greater transparency and accountability from Singapore’s industries.

TEMBUSU Asia is excited to be at the forefront of progress for the environment and sustainable development. While there are undoubtedly many challenges and obstacles ahead in this line of work, TAC is committed to promoting sustainable development and environmental protection for the region and the world.

 

Infographic source: Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore