MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES
ADDENDUM TO THE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
MR MASAGOS ZULKIFLI
MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES
A Smart, Green, and Liveable Singapore
1 Since independence, we have pursued our vision of a liveable and sustainable
Singapore, balancing environmental protection and economic growth. Today, we
enjoy a clean environment, flowing taps, and vibrant green and blue spaces. The
Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) will build on the legacy of
our pioneers and stay true to their spirit of innovation, as we tackle the effects of
climate change and current environmental challenges.
Planning for a Resilient Future
2 Climate change is a global concern. As a low-lying island state, Singapore is
especially vulnerable to its impact. We will continue to advocate for and contribute to
global climate action. We will undertake our Voluntary National Review of the
Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations in July 2018. To rally the region,
we will organise the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (SAMCA)
and Expanded SAMCA (E-SAMCA) in July 2018.
3 The 2016 Climate Action Plan set out our adaptation measures to build
Singapore’s resilience to climate change, and our mitigation measures to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions in every sector. The carbon tax which takes effect from
2019 will provide an economy-wide price signal to spur emissions reduction. In this
Year of Climate Action and beyond, we will encourage and support businesses and
communities to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainable living and
4 We will continue to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure, such as enhancing
stormwater management systems and diversifying our water supply with more
desalination and NEWater plants. In tandem, we are pursuing better management of
our water demand. We will also deepen our local research capabilities on climate
science and weather through the Centre for Climate Research Singapore.
Realising a Zero Waste Culture
5 Using resources efficiently is critical to reducing emissions, limiting pollution,
and strengthening Singapore’s economic resilience. We will strive to become a Zero
Waste nation and extract greater value from waste as a resource, so as to achieve our
vision of a circular economy. Just as we have closed the water loop by recycling water
endlessly, we should similarly strive towards closing the waste loop.
6 The Government will take the lead by developing infrastructure and frameworks,
such as the Extended Producer Responsibility framework to enhance recycling and
manage electrical and electronic waste. We are implementing mandatory reporting of
packaging data and packaging waste reduction plans by 2021, and supporting the
wider use of on-site food waste digesters at commercial premises and hawker centres.
We are working towards the reuse of incineration bottom ash to extend the lifespan of
7 At the same time, we need to kindle in Singaporeans a national consciousness
towards the environment, where everyone takes individual and collective responsibility
and plays a part through practising sustainable consumption and recycling at home.
Achieving Smart and Green Growth
8 As our population and economy grow, the demands on our infrastructure will
increase, even as our manpower and resource constraints tighten. We must transform
our environmental services industry and workforce through technology and innovation,
to support our move towards greater carbon and resource efficiency.
9 The upcoming Tuas Water Reclamation Plant and the Integrated Waste
Management Facility, the first in the world, will be our signature innovation platform to
reap synergies from the water-energy-waste nexus. Effluent water from wastewater
treatment will be used for cooling waste incineration equipment; food waste will be codigested
with used water sludge to enhance biogas production to increase the overall
plant thermal efficiency. Integrating the facilities will reduce carbon emissions by more
than 200,000 tonnes annually.
10 We are stepping up research and development and improving resource
efficiency. For instance, the Waste-to-Energy Research Facility, the first of its kind in
Singapore, will enable the transition of emerging technologies (such as turning waste
and biomass into synthetic gas) from research into demonstration and test-bedding
projects. To enhance energy efficiency in water treatment, we are leading research in
technologies such as anaerobic membrane bioreactors for used water treatment, and
electro-deionisation and biomimicry for desalinated water. To expand the use of solar
energy, we are tapping reservoir surface space and piloting a floating solar system at
11 To better serve the public, we are leveraging smart technologies such as
sensors and other digital technologies. As part of our Smart Water Grid, we have set
up 320 sensor stations island-wide to monitor 5,500km of water distribution pipe
network real-time. We are conducting trials on the Automated Meter Reading system
to provide timely water consumption data to help households save water.
12 We will provide opportunities for technology collaboration and adaptation
across the environmental services industry. As part of the Environmental Services
Industry Transformation Map to ensure a vibrant, sustainable, and professional
cleaning and waste management industry, we are embracing the use of automation,
robotics, and data analytics to enhance productivity in the industry. Besides new public
housing estates, the pneumatic waste conveyance systems are being implemented in
new private residential developments with at least 500 dwelling units. Increasingly, we
will use technology to remotely manage waste collection, and robotics to sort
recyclables at materials recovery facilities. The use of autonomous cleaning
equipment will free workers to focus on higher value work. The future of delivering
environmental services will provide an exciting array of green jobs for our people.
Building a Green and Liveable Home
13 As we strive to build a liveable and sustainable Singapore, we will continue to
integrate and transform our blue and green spaces. Through the Active, Beautiful,
Clean (ABC) Waters programme, we will continue to turn concrete drains, canals, and
reservoirs into vibrant and beautiful rivers, streams, and lakes. Over the next few years,
ABC Waters projects at locations such as the Jurong Lake and Sungei Whampoa will
14 While the Government will continue to strengthen our regulatory regime to
safeguard our environment and public health, creating a liveable and endearing home
ultimately depends on everyone taking ownership of our environment. Through the
Sustainable Singapore movement, we will continue to rally Singaporeans, the larger
community, and industry partners to realise this shared vision.
15 Our hawker centres are an important hub for social interaction and an integral
part of our daily life and national identity. Beyond providing affordable and good food,
our hawker centres are important community spaces that bring together people from
all walks of life, and help to strengthen the bonds of our multi-racial society. In 2015,
we announced that we would build 20 new hawker centres by 2027. Since then, seven
new modern hawker centres have opened. Our Hawker Centre 3.0 initiatives are
aimed at ensuring the viability, vitality, and continuity of the hawker trade. We are
extending productivity initiatives such as the automated tray return systems and
centralised dishwashing services to more hawker centres. We will continue to invest
in developing and enhancing our hawker centres to ensure that future generations
continue to enjoy our unique and vibrant hawker culture.
16 Our pioneers have laid a solid foundation and left us this wonderful City in a
Garden. We will work together to build on their precious legacy, and leave our children
with a smart, green, and liveable home.
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