Singapore’s highly ambitious Green Plan to fight against climate change and achieve its long-term net zero emissions goal is expected to generate a wealth of new jobs.
The Singapore Green Plan sets impactful environmental targets for 2030 and focuses on five pillars which will see the country transforming its operations to build a more sustainable future. The pillars are:
1. City in Nature
2. Sustainable Living
3. Energy Reset
4. Green Economy
5. Resilient Future
Each pillar represents bold targets for the next 10 years to strengthen its commitments under the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Agreement to ensure Singapore is strongly positioned to help build a sustainable future and help overcome the climate crisis.
The City in Nature pillar will promote better quality of living across the urbanized island, with plans to set aside 50 per cent more land for nature parks and ensure that every single household is less than a 10-minute walk from a park. There will also be the planting of a million more trees by 2030 and the enhancement of vegetation and natural landscapes in existing parks.
The Sustainable Living pillar of the Green Plan will see Singapore reducing the amount of waste to landfill by 20 per cent for each person by 2026 and targets for 2030 include significantly reducing household daily water consumption and waste.
Commuting will go under the spotlight with cycling path distances to be tripled to 1,320km, rail network expansion and for 75 per cent of commutes to be via public transport by the end of the decade.
To strengthen green efforts in education, at least 20 per cent of schools will be carbon neutral and the school sector will achieve a two-thirds reduction of net carbon emissions by 2030.
In terms of the Energy Reset, there are two international goals to be met which Singapore will play a part in. The first will see a two per cent annual fuel efficiency improvement from now until 2030 with carbon neutral growth from 2020. This is set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the second international target is for the International Maritime Organization to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from international shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050 (compared to 2008 levels) and to phase out such GHG emissions in this century.
Other plans under the Energy Reset pillar include increasing solar energy deployment five-fold and generating enough electricity to power more than 350,000 households a year, diversifying the electricity supply with clean electricity imports and developing best-in-class generation technology that meets the required standards and reduce carbon emissions.
There are also targets for Singapore’s first integrated waste and used water treatment facility to be 100 per cent energy self-sufficient, green 80 per cent of new buildings (to be super low energy) by 2030, the phasing out of diesel cars and taxis from 2025 with all new car and taxi registrations to be of cleaner-energy models, and more charging points will be nationwide by 2030, with 40,000 in public carparks and 20,000 in private premises.
The Green Economy pillar aims to position Singapore as one of the best-in-class for green investments in energy and carbon efficiency. The country will focus on sustainability to promote new jobs and growth and has set various targets for 2030 to achieve this.
This includes placing Singapore as a leading regional centre for developing new sustainability solutions, making it a leading centre for green finance and services for a low-carbon transition and promoting the country as a carbon services hub in Asia.
The plan also aims to push Singapore forward as a sustainable tourism destination and Jurong Island will become a sustainable energy and chemicals park.
A Resilient Future for Singapore will see the country adapting to sea level rises and galvanising resilience to flooding via the creation of coastal protection plans for City-East Coast, North-West Coast (Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Kadut) and Jurong Island.
This pillar also looks at promoting the use of local produce with a target of meeting 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs through locally produced food by 2030.
As stated in the plan: “Climate change is a global challenge, and Singapore is taking firm actions to do our part to build a sustainable future.
“The Singapore Green Plan 2030 is a national sustainability movement with ambitious and concrete targets which build on our existing climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
“It is a living plan which will evolve as we work with Singaporeans and partners from all sectors to co-create solutions for sustainability.”
Sufia Hasbullah, Consultant at Acre Singapore, said: “The green initiatives and helping the environment is no longer a thing of the past, there are many ways of becoming sustainable that could potentially elevate economic growth and impact businesses in a more environmentally conscious approach. This transition can create opportunities to encourage innovation, increase investment and open new markets. Don’t fall behind the times—start implementing sustainable initiatives that make sense for your company. If you are struggling to find more ways to reduce your carbon footprint, let Acre figure out which areas of your business are the most impactful.”
Sufia is a consultant based in Acre’s Singapore office and is responsible for supporting sustainable development and sustainable finance recruitment projects within the Asia Pacific region. Sufia is an experienced consultant, having previously worked in financial services and technology recruitment (including fintech, compliance, financial strategy and investment management) in South East Asia. She has a postgraduate degree in Communications & Media from the Management Development Institute of Singapore.