Grace Fu delivers national statement at COP26, calls for international cooperation

Despite Singapore's limitations, Fu said that "we do not shy away from taking bold actions where we can".

Zi Shan Kow | November 10, 2021, 06:51 AM

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"Urgent collective action [is needed] to address the global climate crisis," said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu in her national statement delivered on Nov. 9 at COP26.

At the United Nations climate conference held in Glasgow, Fu emphasised the importance of a "multilateral framework of cooperation" in tackling climate change.

Countries have to demonstrate cooperation at COP26

In her speech, Fu laid out four key goals of COP26 and how countries have to work together to achieve them.

Firstly, countries must provide their "ambitious" climate action and emission goals, as well as "concrete" implementation plans to achieve them. There should be a clear roadmap on how to limit global warming to 1.5ºC by the end of COP26.

Secondly, negotiations to finalise the rulebook for the Paris Agreement must be completed. One outstanding item in particular is Article 6 on global carbon markets.

Together with Norwegian Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide, Fu co-facilitates the Article 6 ministerial consultations.

Thirdly, the conference needs to deliver a strong climate finance package for developing countries.

In the national statement, Fu urges developed countries to consider the needs of developing countries before delivering on climate finance for the latter.

Singapore's national statement also said that COP26 needs to address the "longstanding imbalance" between mitigation and adaptation financing which affects the low-lying small island developing countries the most.

Lastly, Fu highlighted the need for effective partnerships and alliances to harness low-carbon technologies through the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action.

Singapore's climate commitments

"Singapore is committed to playing our part in the global fight against climate change," said Fu.

Our commitments to achieve net zero are also complemented by the launch of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, Fu added.

In her speech, Fu talked about Singapore's position as a small city-state with "no hinterland" and "limited access to renewable energy".

Despite this, Fu said that "we do not shy away from taking bold actions where we can".

Fu shared Singapore's plan to quadruple solar deployment by 2025, and cap private vehicle growth to zero, and phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040.

Singapore will plant one million more trees by 2030, and import 30 per cent of our energy mix from renewable sources by 2035.

The plan also includes greening 80 per cent of our built environment, and revising our carbon tax, which will be announced early next year.

Climate change cooperation

In the first week of COP26, Singapore joined several partnership coalitions, such as the Powering Past Coal Alliance, with the pledge of phasing out unabated coal power by 2050.

Other coalitions include the the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, the Global Methane Pledge, the Greening Government Initiative (GGI) and the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C).

Fu added that Singapore is collaborating with Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and the U.S. on low-carbon technologies.

Singapore is also in talks with Australia to set up a bilateral Green Economy Agreement (GEA), a world-first agreement that combines trade, economic and environment objectives, shared Fu.

Fu also stated that Singapore has supported Asia’s decarbonisation drive.

Initiatives to do so include introducing initiatives to enhance financial sector resilience to environmental risks, developing green finance solutions and capabilities, and growing our ecosystem of services in carbon markets and carbon management.

"International climate change cooperation is key to achieving an outcome that is far greater than the sum of our parts. Singapore will work with the UK and all Parties to secure strong outcomes for COP26," Fu concluded.

You can watch Fu's speech at COP26 here:

Top image by Zheng Zhangxin.