PM Lee at US climate summit: S'pore's strategy goes beyond meeting emission caps or implementing carbon tax

Singapore can help the global push for sustainability as a financial hub too.

Zhangxin Zheng | April 24, 2021, 11:23 AM

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was among the 40 global leaders invited by U.S. President Joe Biden to attend the Leaders' Summit on Climate.

The two-day virtual summit that commenced on Earth Day (April 22) aimed to galvanise efforts of major economies to tackle the climate crisis.

In response, PM Lee said that this climate summit is a "welcome signal" of the U.S. leadership and commitment to a multilateral climate solution.

At the virtual meeting, PM Lee affirmed Singapore's commitment to tackling climate change and outlined how Singapore strives to reduce carbon emissions despite constraints, such as our small size and lack of natural resources.

PM Lee also mentioned that the Singapore Green Plan 2030 that was launched earlier this year.

The Green Plan outlines concrete targets in various sectors including transport, building, education, and energy for the next 10 years.

"Our strategy goes beyond meeting emission caps or implementing our carbon tax," he said.

Innovate and use technology extensively

Singapore must innovate and use technology extensively in order to achieve our climate goals, PM Lee explained.

Some examples mentioned include installing one of the world's largest floating solar energy systems as part of the plan to quadruple solar energy production by 2025. The solar energy systems will offset 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Singapore is also using computer modelling for more climate responsive urban design, experimenting with specially cooling paint on buildings, as well as planting one million more trees to combat rising urban temperatures.

Singapore can help the global push for sustainability

Notably, PM lee also highlighted how Singapore can play its role in this fight against climate change regionally and globally.

As a financial hub, Singapore can help the global push for sustainability through green finance, fintech, and capability building.

“We have launched a US$2 billion Green Investments Programme. This will support the development of carbon trading and services, sustainability consultancies and environmental risk management,” he said.

PM Lee also highlighted that emissions verification is a "promising area". New technology can be used to measure carbon footprints and monitor abatement commitments of businesses.

"Singapore is happy to share our experience in all these areas," he added.

Furthermore, Singapore has added climate and sustainability in the Singapore-US Third Country Training Programme and pledged to work closely with the U.S. to support the clean energy transition in Southeast Asia.

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Top image via the Ministry of Communications and Information.