Building a Climate-Resilient
Singapore, for Singaporeans, with Singaporeans
UN has rightfully identified climate change as the defining issue of our time.
For Singapore, like many small nations, climate change is an existential
challenge. We feel its effects today, such as in rising temperatures and frequent
extreme weather events. Even the
seasonality of Singapore’s rainy and dry months is now difficult to predict!
in the Centre for Climate Research Singapore have projected that by 2100, the
mean sea level around Singapore may rise by up to one metre. Coupled with the frequent
and heavy storms also brought about by climate change, low lying areas of
Singapore, such as the East Coast may experience more flooding. For all countries,
climate change also threatens access to essential resources such as water, food
and energy. These affect the security of our nation too.
these said, our history of overcoming challenges gives me the confidence that
we need not despair when facing climate change. Just as we have done before, we
will create innovative solutions for the hardest challenge, putting Singapore
in the unique position we enjoy today. This is Singapore’s DNA.
TOGETHER FOR A CLIMATE RESILIENT SINGAPORE
I will update on our plans in three key areas to address the challenges of climate
change — first, mitigation strategies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse
gases (GHGs); second, adaptation plans; and third, how we can work together, in
our communities and as a nation, to collectively realise a more sustainable Singapore.
your permission, Mr Chairman, may I request the clerks to distribute a document
on mitigation. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the
Paris Agreement are pivotal multilateral agreements to address the global
challenge of climate change. It has spurred many countries, including those who
are large emitters, to enact laws and transform their economies to meet their carbon
commitments. It is therefore in the interest of small island states like
Singapore, to support this multilateral framework of cooperation.
this framework to stand, every country, large or small, must do its share to
reduce GHG emissions. Singapore will
also do our part. Last Friday, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean announced that
Singapore will enhance our 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris
Agreement later this year. We will also submit our Long-Term Low Emissions
Development Strategy, which aspires to halve emissions from our peak to 33
MtCO2e by 2050, with a view to achieve net zero emissions as soon as viable in
the second half of the century.
our emissions, even thirty years from now, is an ambitious target, because Singapore
is naturally constrained in alternative energy — this is an attribute
recognised even by the UNFCCC. But we will continue to raise our ambitions to
limit and reduce carbon emissions over the long term, knowing well enough that it
requires transformational change.
are already ahead of the pack by implementing the carbon tax last year — the
first country in Southeast Asia to do so. This is a clear signal to the whole
of industry that Singapore is moving towards a low-carbon economy, as we give
no exemption. Mr Louis Ng and Mr Daniel Goh asked about the carbon tax and
emissions reporting. The carbon tax is meant to provide an economy-wide price
signal. Hence, only aggregated information will be released. To achieve emissions
reductions, rather than scrutinising individual companies, it would be more
useful to know which sectors we should concentrate on. The release of
individual data could also be commercially sensitive.
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
are the major moves that my Ministry will introduce to further reduce our GHG emissions?
First, we will implement a package of comprehensive measures to reduce the
emission of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). As Dr Chia Shi-Lu and Mr Louis Ng have
pointed out, HFCs can be found as refrigerants in refrigeration and
air-conditioning equipment, and could leak during installation, maintenance and
disposal. Some forms of HFCs trap a much larger amount of heat in the
atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
this year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) will launch a training course to
train and certify technicians to handle refrigerants properly. From next year,
NEA will mandate the proper recovery, reclamation and destruction of spent
your permission, Mr Chairman, may I display some slides on the screens?
will also introduce a voluntary climate-friendly label to help households
identify refrigerators and air-conditioners that use alternative refrigerants
with lower global warming potential.
addition, NEA will launch a new grant to support companies who want to make an
early switch to more climate-friendly commercial water-cooled chillers. From 2022, we intend to restrict the supply of
commercial water-cooled chillers and household refrigerators and
air-conditioners that use HFCs with high global warming potential.
Mr Louis Ng’s question, MEWR will initiate a review on our ratification of the
Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol later this year.
Industry’s Energy Efficiency
HFCs, improving energy efficiency will have a major impact on emissions
reduction. Mr Dennis Tan asked about our progress. We have set an ambitious
target to improve our industrial energy efficiency to one to two per cent every
year. Our industries are on track to meet this target, and we will continue to
improve our energy efficiency rate. Last year, NEA announced the Minimum Energy
Efficiency Standards (MEES) for industrial-chilled water cooling system. MEES
will reduce energy consumption in industrial facilities by at least 245 GWh
annually, equivalent to taking more than 20,000 cars off the road. From 2021,
energy-intensive companies, including oil-refining companies, will be required
to establish facility-wide energy management systems and conduct energy
efficiency opportunities assessments.
Energy Self-Sufficiency for MEWR
MEWR we also live by our energy efficiency creed. Let me illustrate this.
are on track to complete the development of Tuas Nexus by 2027. The Tuas Nexus carries
out co-digestion of food waste and used water sludge to generate up to three
times more biogas than conventional sludge treatment processes. This biogas will
be used to generate electricity to power the plant, and excess electricity will
be exported back into the grid.
addition, we will ramp up the generation of solar energy within MEWR. Mr Louis
Ng asked if we can deploy more solar panels on reservoirs. This year, PUB will deploy
two 1.5 MWp floating solar PV systems at Bedok and Lower Seletar Reservoirs. Next
year, PUB will deploy the world’s largest single floating solar PV system of 60MWp
at Tengeh Reservoir. The power generated from this system alone is sufficient
to meet the energy of all our water treatment plants at local reservoirs. With
this, Singapore’s waterworks will be one of the few in the world to be 100 per
cent green. PUB is also making strides
towards improving the energy efficiency of NEWater and desalinated water
Louis Ng also asked if the Government can provide consumers with rebates for
using solar energy. Subsidies, such as
rebates, distort the energy markets. Pricing
energy right will encourage the growth of renewable energy in a commercially
viable manner and incentivise consumers to use electricity efficiently,
avoiding wasteful consumption. Instead of rebates, the Government has streamlined
regulations and funded research to support higher deployment of solar.
Ministry also intends to be exemplary in optimising the water-energy-waste
nexus. We will set out to generate sufficient energy from waste incineration
and solar photovoltaic systems to power all of my Ministry’s needs, especially
in the production of water and the projected production of food.
the long run, it is only with ground-breaking technology that we can make huge
leaps in climate mitigation. In the horizon are Carbon Capture, Utilisation and
Storage technologies and the use of Hydrogen as an alternative fuel. We will
stay abreast of these developments.
Public Service Sustainability Plan
the Ministry, the public sector as a whole is doing more. Mr Louis Ng asked
about our efforts. In 2017, we launched the Public Sector Sustainability Plan,
which charted out our strategies to reduce electricity and water consumption,
and achieve Green Mark standards for 100 per cent of our buildings. Ministries and agencies are working hard, and
are on track to meet our 2020 targets. For example, all air-conditioned
Government premises should maintain indoor temperatures of 24oC or higher where
feasible. All Ministries have also taken the climate action pledge and
committed to reducing their plastic, water and electricity consumption.
are reviewing how to bring our plan to the next level. DPM also announced our
vision for all vehicles to run on cleaner energy by 2040. The Government will
take the lead. From 2023, all new vehicle purchases for Government-owned fleets
will be cleaner and greener where feasible. MINDEF for example will replace 400
administrative vehicles with hybrids and later with electric ones when charging
infrastructure is ready in 2040. Together, with net-zero buildings, food-waste
management our Army is “Green” in more than their uniforms!
are but a few examples of how the UN Climate Change Framework is shaping
climate conscious behaviours and decisions. We are also reviewing other
measures such as the better management of our carbon emissions and the use of
disposables. More details will be announced later this year.
transport generates up to three times less carbon dioxide than private
transport. Hence, our approach is to encourage public transport and green
public transport as far as possible. The Land Transport Master Plan 2040 by the
Ministry of Transport supports this. This is how Singapore moves to cut GHG
emissions — simply drive less.
driving less is, somehow, not an option, motorists can still practise
sustainable consumption by choosing cleaner vehicles that emit less GHG and
harmful pollutants. Mr Louis Ng asked about the Vehicular Emissions Scheme
(VES). The VES implemented in 2018 has seen positive results and we have since extended
the VES until end-2020. This will complement the enhanced incentives and
infrastructure to promote the use of electric vehicles announced at Budget. We
aim to refine VES further, taking into account its impact on motorists’
purchasing decisions and advancements in technology.
transport of goods and services is a major economic activity in Singapore.
Commercial vehicles, especially Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs), are key emission sources
and pollute our air due to their high mileage and reliance on diesel.
support the shift to cleaner commercial vehicles, we will introduce a new
Commercial Vehicle Emissions Scheme (CVES) for new LGVs, which form the largest
proportion of commercial vehicles. Under the new CVES, the cleanest LGVs will
receive a $30,000 incentive, while the most polluting LGVs will incur a $10,000
surcharge. In terms of Total Cost of Ownership, fleet owners will enjoy overall
savings when they purchase EVs as opposed to petrol vehicles, and even greater
savings as compared to diesel vehicles.
complement the CVES, we will enhance the Early Turnover Scheme (ETS) from 1
April 2021 until 31 March 2023, including expanding the scheme to cover Euro 4
diesel commercial vehicles. The existing ETS will be extended until 31 March
TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
have outlined our climate mitigation efforts. Let me now talk about how we will
adapt to climate change.
change will bring about more frequent and intense storms, which may result in
major flooding, especially in low-lying parts of Singapore. Mr Desmond Choo
asked about PUB’s plans to mitigate inland floods.
2011, PUB has spent almost $2 billion on drainage works, including major
projects like the Bukit Timah Diversion Canal and Stamford Detention Tank. We will invest another $190 million, with six
projects commencing this year, including the construction of a detention tank
underneath Syed Alwi Road, which will enhance flood protection in the Little
India area. Our investments will be complemented with developments in technology,
such as short-range radars, to better predict and manage heavier rainfall.
efforts, however, will not be sufficient. With climate change, sea levels will
rise faster than its natural cycle, and along with heavy rains, will overwhelm drainage
systems. Ms Cheng Li Hui and Mr Desmond Choo asked about our whole-of-nation
strategy to coordinate coastal protection efforts. I am pleased to announce
that PUB will assume the role of the national Coastal Protection Agency from
April. With this new responsibility, one agency – PUB – will study both coastal
and inland flooding holistically and develop models to guide our flood
investments to undertake coastal and flood protection could cost $100 billion
over the next 50 to 100 years. As announced by DPM in the Budget speech, a
Coastal and Flood Protection Fund will be set up within PUB, with an initial
funding of $5 billion. The fund will be
used in a fiscally sustainable manner to support the substantial capital
outlay. Mr Mohamed Irshad asked about the immediate investments that will be
made. Our near-term efforts will focus on studying our coastal areas to
ascertain the type, feasibility and extent of measures required. We will phase
efforts and start with the City to East Coast stretch and Jurong Island. The
funds will also be used to expand and improve our drainage infrastructure to improve
we embark on coastal protection, we will also identify new opportunities for
urban development. For instance, we could reclaim a series of islands offshore,
and even connect these islands up by building barrages to create community
spaces for Singaporeans, and contribute to water resilience. PUB will partner
various stakeholders to explore these possibilities.
Dennis Tan highlighted the importance of preserving and building our carbon
sinks. We will preserve our green carbon sinks and identify nature-based
solutions. For example, planting mangroves can both stabilise our coastline by
preventing erosion, while preserving our green lungs and supporting
biodiversity. Minister Desmond Lee will
elaborate in his speech on Singapore’s greening efforts.
efforts also involve securing our water supply. Singapore has developed a
robust and diversified supply of water, as a result of our early and consistent
investments in water infrastructure and research. Along with local catchment
and imported water, we will continue to augment our water supply with
weather-resilient sources, namely NEWater and desalinated water.
the completion of Marina East and Jurong Island desalination plants this year,
we will have five desalination plants. Our NEWater production capacity will also
increase over the next five years, with the expansion of the Changi NEWater
factory and development of Tuas Nexus.
water demand management is equally important in complementing efforts in water
supply. PUB’s water conservation efforts have shown encouraging results, with
household water consumption decreasing to 141 litres from 148 litres/person/day
in three years. PUB will begin the deployment of 300,000 smart meters next
year, as part of efforts to reduce water consumption further to 130 litres/person/day
inspire Singaporeans to continue efforts in water conservation, I am happy to
launch the 2020 water conservation campaign. Today, PUB will kick off with a new
video to remind Singaporeans of how far we have come in our water story. I felt
touched and proud of our water story when I previewed the video. So will you,
when you watch it tonight. It will encourage us, all Singaporeans, not to take our
clean drinking water for granted.
rising sea levels and water resilience, Mr Amrin Amin, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, Dr
Chia Shi Lu and Mr Desmond Choo have rightfully pointed out that warmer
temperatures caused by climate change can also affect the everyday lives of
Singaporeans, because it leads to an increasing mosquito population! In fact,
warmer temperature is one of the factors that led to the surge in dengue cases last
Wolbachia is a tool which NEA is piloting to manage the mosquito population. Mr
Louis Ng conveyed feedback that the initial surge of male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
released under Project Wolbachia causes discomfort to residents. I hope to
reassure residents that these male mosquitoes do not bite or transmit diseases,
and ask residents to be patient and bear with the initial surge.
am pleased to say that the Project Wolbachia trials have achieved up to 90 per
cent suppression of the Aedes aegypti population within the Yishun and Tampines
study sites. We are considering the expansion of Project Wolbachia to more neighbourhoods,
in consultation with NEA’s Dengue Expert Advisory Panel. To do this, NEA has
set up a hi-tech mosquito farm which optimises mosquito production, the sorting
of male mosquitoes from females, and the transportation of mosquitoes for
release. We are scaling up the
facility’s production to five million male mosquitoes a week, over the next few
years, to battle dengue. This is a new and important means to future-proof
ourselves against the faster breeding of mosquitoes, as a result of the higher
temperatures brought by climate change.
THE SINGAPORE FOOD STORY
as NEA is establishing mosquito farms, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is
transforming food farms. Food, like water, is a resource that can be disrupted
by climate change. In Asia alone, we
expect an additional 250 million mouths to feed by 2030. Yet, the amount of arable land could fall by
five per cent due to climate change and environmental degradation. Singapore, which
currently imports more than 90 per cent of our food, will be vulnerable. In the
face of these changes, we have developed three food baskets to ensure our food
security by diversifying food sources, growing food overseas and growing local.
We have designated 2020 as the Year of Singapore
Food Story to focus our national effort and attention.
Gan Thiam Poh asked about the Government’s success in food source diversification
and its role in mitigating price hikes during supply disruptions.
Singapore’s food imports come from over 170 countries and regions. This did not
come by chance, but is a result of SFA’s continuous efforts. While the
Government does our part, we require the industry to also be pro-active in
diversifying supply sources to enhance business resiliency. For example, since
last year, SFA has introduced requirements for egg importers to adopt plans to mitigate
the impact of any supply disruptions.
a well-diversified food supply, Singapore can reduce the impact of food supply
shortages and price changes. However, consumers
need to be mindful that the price of any particular food item is determined by
a combination of factors, including import prices, exchange rates, and profit
margins which suppliers can command.
me elaborate on our plans to produce food locally, enhance food safety, and
encourage Singaporeans to support local produce.
Optimise Land and Sea Space
Cheng Li Hui and Mr Gan Thiam Poh asked about how the Government is helping the
local agri-food industry grow. Our vision is to locally produce 30 per cent of
Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030, from less than 10 per cent today.
a small country with limited space, our land use faces many competing needs. We
have dedicated less than one per cent of our land for agriculture today. Within
such tight land constraints, the ‘30 by 30’ vision is highly ambitious,
especially if we must achieve it within the same one per cent. Yet, having
visited some of our new-tech farms, I am optimistic that it is achievable if we
invest in an innovative agri-food sector.
2017, SFA has been awarding agriculture land, through a competitive land tender
basis, to agri-food companies with promising technologies. One such company is Green
Harvest a local vegetable farm. The farm
uses modern greenhouse growing techniques which mitigates the impact of unfavourable
weather conditions. We are helping them to adopt more technology and, with
experience, we hope they can produce multiple times more vegetables than
year, SFA will study how the larger Lim Chu Kang agriculture area can be
planned and redeveloped to enhance our food production. This study will
consider feedback from farmers for centralised facilities and services to reduce
the cost of food production. The study will also introduce circular economy
principles, so that the by-product of one farm can be used as an input for
another. SFA will work with farms, including successful tenders in recent land
sales exercises, to work towards an exciting vision for Lim Chu Kang.
plans for Lim Chu Kang will complement the development of the Agri-Food
Innovation Park, or AFIP, which we announced last year as a high-tech agri-food
cluster in Sungei Kadut. The food production innovations developed in AFIP can scale
up in Lim Chu Kang to contribute towards our ‘30 by 30’ vision.
will also look to unlock the potential of farming at sea. Last week, I accompanied President Halimah to
visit Eco-Ark. Eco-Ark’s CEO Mr Leow Ban Tat, who had decades of experience in
marine and off-shore engineering, including in Keppel, applied principles of
oil rigs construction to that of a floating fish farm. He worked with his team to conceptualise, design
and integrate a floating platform with closed-containment aquaculture
technologies that treat influent sea water used to cultivate fish. These
technologies mitigate the effects of pollution and algae blooms that threaten
both farms and our marine environment. Ideas
like this is how we will transform fish farming practices so that they are more
productive, sustainable and climate-resilient.
56. Besides the use of technology, SFA will study the expansion of sustainable fish farming
where applicable in the deeper southern waters of Singapore. We will ensure that such aquaculture is productive
and environmentally responsible, such as shown by Barramundi Asia, Singapore’s
first and only deep-sea fish farm. SFA will
work with stakeholders to study this.
are supporting different modes of fish farming. Where water quality is good, farms can carry
out deep sea farming. Where it isn’t, farms can adopt closed-containment
technologies. Where there can be synergies with land-based water and waste systems,
land-based aquaculture can be conducted. Like land, every space at sea that can
be used for food production, must be judiciously managed.
Gan Thiam Poh also asked how the Government is helping local farms remain
competitive. Over the years, our economic agencies have been supporting local farms
in their overseas expansion. Growing their businesses overseas allow farms to tap
on land and manpower, lower production costs, and break into new markets. I encourage our farms to take a leaf from the
food manufacturing industry, where companies like Tee Yih Jia Food anchor their
expertise locally while expanding operations overseas. Some of our farms, like Apollo,
have already done so. These food products
produced overseas, while not ‘Made in Singapore’, should be marketed as ‘Made by
Singapore’, since they uphold the same reputation for high quality and
standards as those produced domestically.
complement these efforts, SFA, Enterprise Singapore and the industry will be
developing a Clean & Green Standard for urban farms which harness
resource-efficient technologies to produce food in cleaner environments. They
will study ways to incorporate information that more people are concerned about,
such as the carbon footprint of food. The standard will serve as a mark of quality
assurance that our farms can use differentiate their products in the market.
me move on to incentives and funding. Over the past five years, SFA has
committed $38 million from the Agriculture Productivity Fund, or APF, to
support more than 100 farms in their productivity- enhancing investments. I am happy to share that the APF will be
extended till the end of 2020. Beyond this, we will review how we can expand
our support for technology test-bedding, adoption and resource efficiency in
introduction of alternative proteins and ensure safety for consumption
innovations to produce food more productively and sustainably are also needed.
The first research grant call launched by SFA and the A*STAR last December
under the $144 million Singapore Food Story R&D Programme, will facilitate this.
theme under this research programme is the production of novel foods, like
alternative proteins. Traditional meat production methods are often land and
water intensive, and generate high levels of emissions. Today, alternative
proteins, such as Impossible and Quorn, are poised to become game-changers. I hope
Members will enjoy the alternative protein food items from Tee Yih Jia Food and
Empress served at today’s tea break.
Cheng Li Hui asked about food safety of novel foods. We will ensure that only novel foods that are
safe for consumption are introduced in Singapore. Last year, SFA implemented a
new regulatory framework to require companies to seek its approval and undergo
a scientific pre-market assessment before placing novel foods in the market. This
framework facilitates the sale of alternative proteins in Singapore, while
ensuring their safety. Companies, such as local start-up Shiok Meats, who is
looking to produce cell-cultured shrimp, will be able to benefit from this
support its assessment of novel food, SFA will establish an international expert
working group to provide scientific advice on food safety.
food supply, we must also not forget our fundamental mission, that is to ensure
that the food we eat is safe.
takes a serious approach towards upholding high food safety and hygiene
standards. Since its formation, SFA has conducted more than 5,200 inspections
in 2019, and taken more than 1,600 enforcement actions against errant
will be introducing new measures to safeguard food safety. Premises which pose
higher food safety risks, such as caterers and central kitchens, will be
required to install Closed-Circuit Television Cameras. This enables them to monitor food safety performance
and provide evidence in the event of food safety allegations. Enhanced measures
will also be targeted at businesses that cater to vulnerable groups. Food
businesses catering to preschools, kindergartens and nursing homes will be
required to maintain food retention samples, which will facilitate
investigations during foodborne outbreaks.
2021, SFA will also introduce a single, unified framework to license and
recognise all food establishments. SFA
will award a longer licence duration and a higher recognition to food
establishments which uphold high food safety and hygiene standards. This way,
SFA can re-prioritise resources to focus on checks to ensure compliance with
food safety requirements.
Louis Ng asked about the introduction of a Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
MEWR is currently working on a legislation to enhance our food safety regime.
As part of this, we are looking to introduce a legislation to facilitate food
donation. Any legislation will need to strike a balance between facilitating
food donation and ensuring food safety. We
will be happy to work with Mr Louis Ng.
THE SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA WITH SINGAPOREANS
AS AGENTS OF CHANGE
me conclude my speech by touching on the role of all Singaporeans in taking
climate action. As the Government, we are providing leadership in tackling
climate change. We do this by enhancing our climate pledge under the Paris
Agreement and working with the industry to guide their transformation to a
low-carbon economy. While the Government can lead on sustainability, the people
must champion its cause.
Support Local Produce
instance, Singaporeans can make conscious climate-friendly choices in our daily
essentials, such as food. Locally-produced
food is of high quality, incurs less carbon miles, lasts longer and tastes
good! By eating local, Singaporeans are making an environmentally sustainable
the process, we support our farmers by choosing food that is grown in
Singapore. Since 2017, SFA has partnered SAFEF to organise Farmers’ Markets to
raise awareness of local produce. Last month, I unveiled a new logo which
Singapore farmers can soon use to help Singaporeans identify local produce.
community can also support local production by participating in community
farming projects. For example, nearly 80 per cent of NParks’ Community-in-Bloom
gardens grow edibles. There is also the potential for companies and the
community to engage in commercial urban farming that involves the community. Since the launch of a pilot rooftop farm,
Citiponics in Ang Mo Kio, interest from the public towards urban farming in
community spaces has grown. We will provide more opportunities for urban
rooftop farming. In the coming months,
SFA will tender 16 rooftop spaces on HDB Multi-Storey Car Parks across the
island, totalling over 30,000 square metres. As we grow our agri-sector, let’s
get involved in growing food in our own backyards.
let us talk about electrical appliances. Take refrigerators. They are amongst
the top three highest energy-consuming household appliances today. However, many households continue to purchase one
to two-ticks refrigerators, partly due to the higher upfront costs of energy
efficient models, without considering the savings from electricity consumption
over the long term. Similarly, showering
takes up a significant proportion of water consumption, yet many households are
choosing the less water-efficient fittings.
help households living in one to three room HDB flats invest in energy and
water efficient models, the Government will introduce a $24.8 million Climate-Friendly
Household Package. These households will
receive a once-off $150 voucher to purchase refrigerator models approved by NEA
that have three ticks and above. Not
only will this help fight climate change, households can also benefit from
electricity cost savings of up to $60 annually. We will also extend the ‘Switch
and Save – Use LED’ programme launched in 2018 to all three-room HDB flats. In
addition, we will give all one to three room HDB households a $50 voucher to
offset the cost of changing their shower fittings to more water-efficient
all eligible households make the switch, we can collectively reduce emissions
equivalent to taking around 12,600 cars off the road, and save up to 400
million gallons of water annually!
Support Passionate Youths and Citizens
let me focus on the ground-up efforts of our youths and citizens to address
climate change. I commend our youths who are channelling their passions into
positive change for the environment. During the Year of Climate Action in 2018,
more than two climate-related activities per day were conducted, and youths
played a big part in them. Recently, a group of 50 youths participated in the
Environmental Track of the Youth Action Challenge organised by the Ministry of
Culture, Community and Youth, submitting projects ranging from waste reduction
to green technologies. We will work together with these youths to deliver some
of these ideas into reality.
empower our youths with knowledge and experience on sustainability, my Ministry
is working with MOE and the National Youth Council. We want to introduce more sustainability programmes
in schools and community facilities. Even OBS@Coney will be designed to be an
eco-experience for our youths to learn and enjoy.
Government will work with schools to introduce initiatives which will integrate
green infrastructure, sustainability programmes, and curriculum design to
inculcate positive environmental values in our youths, like ones done in Mee
group of Singaporeans whose efforts I would like to recognise are those that
are willing to share their experiences and ideas on sustainability. Last year, my Ministry convened our first
Citizens’ Workgroup on recycling, where 48 participants joined us on a month-long
journey of co-creation. We will be setting up two more Citizens’ Workgroups
this year focusing on more issues that Singaporeans care about. One Workgroup will start the conversation on how
we can increase demand for local produce. I invite interested members of the public to
visit our website at foodstory.sg to find out more about the Workgroup and sign
up for it. Another Workgroup on reducing
the excessive use of disposables will also be set up. As we have done with the recycling workgroup,
we will carefully consider and work with these workgroups to realise some of
is our aspiration for Singapore, as a nation, to practise sustainable
development and put sustainability at the centre of the way we live, work and
play. At Budget, DPM spoke about the Ministry of National Development’s Green
Towns Programme, which injects sustainability into the infrastructure of our HDB
Towns. Beyond the look and feel of our
housing estates, MEWR will introduce initiatives that will encourage
Singaporeans to live and breathe sustainability. Let me elaborate.
have come far in the last twenty years, since the development of Punggol as Singapore’s
first Eco Town. We have a vision to
transform all HDB towns into Eco Towns.
as we rejuvenate neighbourhoods, we will create more sustainable community touchpoints.
We will build sustainable hawker centres that strive towards zero waste. Second,
we will introduce community-based programmes that foster sustainability initiatives
on the ground. Third, we will develop indicators for towns to track their
progress and benchmark against national sustainability targets in carbon,
energy, water, and recycling. This will drive home the message that the effort
of each and every Singaporean counts.
am happy that Tampines, Choa Chu Kang and Nee Soon Towns are coming on board to
become Singapore’s first Eco Towns. Let
me share some initial efforts.
Tampines, we are piloting new sustainability projects which can be replicated
in other towns. The first project, ‘Sustainability @ Tampines Park’, will be
Singapore’s first community-based circular ecosystem for food production. Residents from 12 HDB blocks will be
segregating food waste generated in their homes, to be fed to black soldier fly
larvae. The larvae will produce fertiliser for a new vertical vegetable farm,
and the larvae will be fed to Tilapias cultivated in the Tampines Park pond. Not
only will this project reduce food waste, it will simultaneously strengthen the
community’s food resilience!
second project in a different part of Tampines is the introduction of ‘Eco
Boards’. Eco Boards are low-energy
digital boards that provide block-level information on water and energy use to
residents. Together with Singapore Power and Temasek, we plan to build Eco
Boards in several sites across Tampines Town. These Eco Boards will enhance the
residents’ awareness of their resource usage, and illustrate the impact of
green infrastructure such as solar panels.
details on the three Eco Towns will be announced over the coming months. I believe
that the success of these Eco Towns will inspire other towns to begin their own
journey of transformation towards sustainability.
build our sustainable Singapore together with Singaporeans, DPM announced at
Budget the establishment of a Singapore Eco Fund. Mr Mohamed Irshad and Mr Gan
Thiam Poh asked for details of this fund. We are happy to announce that the $50
million SG Eco Fund will be made available later this year to the people,
private and public sector, to support the co-creation of a sustainable
Singapore. We welcome project proposals which involve the community, and can
deliver measurable impacts on our sustainability goals. My Ministry will also set
up an SG Eco Office to co-ordinate sustainability projects across Singapore.
me conclude. When we started our journey as a nation, our founding fathers gave
us a vision of being the cleanest and greenest city in Southeast Asia. Even for
this we were inspired to do it together. Mr Lee Kuan Yew said in 1968 at the
launch of the inaugural Keep Singapore Clean Campaign: “For only a people with
high social and educational standards can maintain a clean and green city.” And
he went on to say: “Only a people proud of their community performance, feeling
for the well-being of their fellow citizens, can keep up high personal and
public standards of hygiene.” We are now on our journey towards a sustainable
and climate friendly Singapore. It is a journey that we can only make, together.
Prime Minister at a tree-planting event in 2014 said: “But we also have to do
more than just plant trees. We also have
to make the whole of the environment sustainable, friendly to people, and also
for Singaporeans to be friendly to the environment.” It is for this reason that
the Government will place sustainability at the core of everything we do. However, only by living and practising
sustainability together can we mitigate the impacts of climate change and
secure the resources needed to take Singapore into the future. Let us all play
our part and work together, as one people, to ensure that Singapore remains a
liveable home for our future generations.
Chairman, I will now hand over to Senior Minister of State Dr Amy Khor to
address other strategies that will make Singapore a clean, sustainable and