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S'pore unveils plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050, with stronger target of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

SINGAPORE — Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 25) unveiled its plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050, with a stronger target of 60 million tonnes — down from 65 million tonnes — of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2030.

A view of an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore.

A view of an oil refinery off the coast of Singapore.

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  • Singapore plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050
  • Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in Singapore will also peak earlier, such that the country's emissions will be around 60 million tonnes come 2030
  • This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong during the Singapore International Energy Week on Tuesday (Oct 25)
  • He also announced goals to improve green financing in Singapore
  • New developments in Jurong Lake District and the public sector will also target to achieve net zero emissions by around 2045

SINGAPORE — Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 25) unveiled its plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050, with a stronger target of 60 million tonnes —  down from 65 million tonnes — of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2030.

To achieve its 2050 goal, the country will peak its carbon dioxide equivalent emissions earlier, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who was speaking at the opening of the annual Singapore International Energy Week conference.

However, he did not give details on when the new peak for carbon dioxide emissions will be. 

In 2020, the country announced its aim to half its 2030 peak emissions of 65 million tonnes by 2050.

At this year's Budget speech in February, however, Mr Wong announced that Singapore would bring forward its net zero goal "by or around mid-century". The Government also conducted a consultation exercise on achieving this goal by 2050 in September. 

“Net zero by 2050 is really a stretch goal for us as we have limited options to deploy renewable energy at scale but we will press ahead with this ambitious goal,” \Mr Wong, who is also Finance Minister, said. 

“Even though Singapore only accounts for 0.1 per cent of global emissions, we want to do our part in the global effort to address the global climate crisis and steward our resources for future generations.”

On the adjusted 2030 target, he added that this cut of five million tonnes is “significant” as it is equivalent to reducing Singapore’s current transport emissions by two-thirds.  

Adding that despite being an "alternative energy disadvantaged nation", Singapore will still continue taking proactive steps to reach net-zero.

These enhanced targets will be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change when countries meet at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt next month. 

In his speech, Mr Wong also announced other steps to hit Singapore's goal, including its plans to develop hydrogen to supply up to half of Singapore’s energy needs by 2050.


    Jurong Lake District will also aim for all new developments to achieve net-zero emissions by around 2045, Mr Wong said. 

    The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) in a press release on Tuesday (Oct 25) that the mixed-use business district will promote "urban sustainability and a healthy living environment for residents, workers, and visitors”:

    • All new developments in the district will be required to be super low-energy or zero-energy buildings
    • Buildings in this district will also need to be equipped with features such as best-in-class energy-efficient equipment, intelligent energy management systems and rooftop greenery to reduce cooling needs
    • There will be a centralised district cooling network, allowing it to spread out demand for cooling across the day and improves energy efficiency among other benefits
    • Suitable surfaces such as rooftops, building facades and empty plots of land will also have solar panels
    • The district will also be designed to be car-lite and support green mobility options such as cycling and electric vehicle buses
    • Beyond that, NCCS said that 40 per cent of land area in the district will be parks, green spaces and waterbodies to help cool the district 


    Sharing the same net zero emissions goal as Jurong Lake District is the public sector. 

    “As part of this goal, government agencies will increase the energy efficiency of their buildings to lower carbon emissions, and eventually look to power them using renewable energy,” Mr Wong said, adding that public sector cars will also run on cleaner energy.


    Beyond utilising hydrogen, Mr Wong talked about plans to turn Singapore into a green finance hub. This will allow the country to “effectively channel green capital towards the development of transition projects and climate change solutions around the region”.

    This is because no country can decarbonise on its own and international cooperation on “multiple fronts” such as green financing will be necessary, he said. 

    “Our collective decarbonisation initiatives will not come cheap. By some estimates, several trillions of dollars in infrastructure investments will be needed over the next decade in Southeast Asia alone, to enable the energy transition and put the region on the path to net zero,” he added.

    “And while there are many potential climate transition projects in Southeast Asia, many are not fully bankable. This has created a funding gap which must be bridged if the region and the world is to meet its climate goals.”

    As Singapore is an international financial hub, Mr Wong said that Singapore is well-placed to contribute to the effort in the following ways: 

    • Progress on “several fundamental building blocks” such as data on projects and disclosures by companies to address concerns on green-washing
    • Create clear definitions of what is considered “green”, “brown” and “activities transitioning from brown to green”
    • Push for financial innovation and solutions in the sustainability space, such as encouraging Association of Southeast Asian Nations green bonds and loan issuances

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    Singapore International Energy Week Lawrence Wong nccs carbon emissions solar panels climate change environment

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