At the request of the United Nations, more than 70 countries signed their commitments to zero net emissions by 2050 following the climate change summit in New York last September. Singapore, in its current form, has pledged to achieve zero “as soon as possible in the second half of the century.” In April, Singapore released a long-term strategy for the development of low emissions, which aims to halve emissions from peaking in 2030 to 30 MtCO2e by 2050. The strategy shows a lack of commitment to achieving zero net emissions, with the goal of achieving net zero in the “second half of the century” “once it is sustainable. Singapore needs to significantly strengthen its 2030 Paris Agreement target, which could serve as the basis for a more ambitious long-term goal. Prior to the UNFCCC climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009, Singapore committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 16% below the status quo (BAU) level by 2020, based on a legally binding global agreement in which all countries would implement their commitments in good faith. In accordance with the agreement adopted in Paris in December 2015, Singapore has committed to reduce our emission intensity by 36% by 2030 from 2005 levels and to stabilize our greenhouse gas emissions with a view to peaking in 2030. The latest commitment announced by SM Teo is absolute in comparison. Total greenhouse gas emissions from Singapore will no longer increase by 2030 and will be halved by 2050. Singapore`s renewed commitments are the basis of what SM Teo has suggested as a global “transformation” in Singapore`s industry, economy and society. With regard to the industry, which accounts for 60 per cent of emissions, SM Teo has promised to work with the industry to “make the necessary adjustments”. On 12 December 2015, 196 parties at the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris adopted a new climate agreement applicable to all parties.
The Paris Agreement, which will come into force after 2020, aims to limit the rise in the world`s average temperature to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius and to continue efforts to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In Warsaw, Poland, the contracting parties adopted a series of decisions, including a set of rules to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as a mechanism to combat the losses and damage caused by the long-term effects of climate change. They also agreed to communicate their respective contributions to the global climate agreement in due course prior to COP-21 in Paris in 2015. But the fact is that Singapore has already achieved its previous commitments and has gradually built them. It must now deliver again; and with time. The Convention on Climate Change enjoys almost universal support, making it one of the most supported international agreements in the world by the United Nations. In Lima, Peru, the parties agreed on various ground rules to guide the presentation of their respective contributions to the global climate agreement. Commitments made by both developed and developing countries before and during the COP also exceeded the funding of the new Green Climate Fund (GCF) beyond an initial target of $10 billion. The Durban Platform has reached an agreement on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. It was also agreed to begin negotiations for a new legally binding global agreement, which would apply to all countries and come into force in 2020.
The Durban conference also agreed on a range of important decisions, including the creation of a Green Climate Fund to channel climate-related financial resources for developing countries to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. Singapore is actively working with countries such as Japan, Korea, Thailand, France, Germany and Norway to leverage our respective strengths and experiences and to provide developing countries with training on climate change and climate change