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Parliament Q&A

Written Reply by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Singapore's Greenhouse Gas Emissions, on 6 Aug 2019

Question: Ms Anthea Ong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) whether the five-year project launched in 2014 to measure Singapore's carbon footprint has been completed; (b) if completed, what are the findings of the project; (c) how much reduction in emissions will the carbon tax of $5 per ton of greenhouse gas emissions is expected to be achieved given that industry is projected to contribute 60.3% of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2020; and (d) what is the expected increased carbon footprint with the impending construction of Terminal 5.

Reply by Mr Masagos Zulkifli:

1. I believe that NMP Ms Anthea Ong is referring to the study undertaken by the National Parks Board to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from Singapore’s Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry sector (LULUCF).

2. As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Singapore reports our total GHG inventory across various sectors in our National Communications (NC) and Biennial Update Reports (BUR). In this regard, the National Parks Board undertook a study from 2013 to 2018 to set up a system to measure GHG emissions and removals from Singapore’s LULUCF sector. Latest estimates for the reporting year 2014 indicate that the LULUCF sector accounts for about 0.1% of Singapore’s net GHG emissions. Details were reported in Singapore’s third BUR last year. The study also found that our nature reserves, mangroves, and trees in urban areas served as key carbon sinks that offer significant GHG removals. The BUR is subject to stringent review by international experts under the UNFCCC’s International Consultation and Analysis process. Singapore has been commended for its robust, scientifically sound and comprehensive reporting standards of its LULUCF sector. 

3. Singapore has comprehensive measures to reduce our carbon emissions. The carbon tax of $5 per tonne of GHG emissions, which came into effect in January this year, is intended to send an economy-wide price signal to incentivise companies to reduce their emissions where it makes the most business sense. This tax will cover about 80% of our total GHG emissions and complements Singapore’s suite of mitigation measures to incentivise emissions reduction and transition to a low carbon economy. Given that this is the first year of implementation, we are monitoring the progress of the carbon tax. We are prepared to spend more than the estimated $1 billion that will be collected in carbon taxes over the next five years to help our industry and companies improve their carbon efficiency and reduce their emissions.

4. We are also mindful of the need to reduce our carbon emissions from new developments. Changi Terminal 5 is still in the design stage and the carbon footprint has not yet been determined. Changi Airport Group and its consultants are exploring solutions to improve the terminal’s energy efficiency.

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