MP Dennis Tan

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong asked the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) whether the Government is aware of the Climate Action Tracker’s (CAT) assessment of Singapore’s climate targets and policies as of November 2022 and, if so, what are its views; (b) whether the Government has formally engaged CAT on this assessment and, if so, what is CAT’s response to the feedback and clarifications; and (c) whether the Government intends to adjust its climate change plans, strategy, targets or goals, in light of CAT’s assessment.

Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien: We are aware of the Climate Action Tracker (CAT)’s latest assessment of Singapore’s climate targets and policies. They had published an earlier rating in September 2021. Over the past year, we have raised our national commitments on climate action, backed up by new policies and plans. This includes our updated Nationally Determined Contribution for 2030, our net zero by 2050 target, significantly raising the carbon tax, new targets for carbon capture, utilisation and storage and low-carbon electricity imports, as well as the launch of our National Hydrogen Strategy. It is therefore puzzling why these improvements have not been fully reflected in CAT’s latest “policies and plans” rating for Singapore. 

CAT has also maintained its “fair share target” rating of Singapore as “critically insufficient” despite acknowledging Singapore’s unique circumstances, particularly our limited access to alternative energy sources. As this limitation is not factored into CAT’s “fair share target” assessment framework, their stated methodology would appear incompatible with Article 4.10 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which recognises such constraints.

The National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) had previously engaged CAT regarding our unique national circumstances, policies and plans. Following CAT’s latest assessment, NCCS has reached out to CAT again to seek clarifications on its methodology and assessment, including how Singapore’s latest policies and plans have been factored into its assessment. We have yet to receive CAT’s response as of 5 January. 

The Government does not formulate our climate plans and policies based solely on the assessment of any single index such as the CAT. While we do use such indices for reference, our policies and plans will continue to be crafted based on our national interests, taking into account our national circumstances, and guided by our vision and commitment to doing what is best for Singapore and Singaporeans, while contributing to concerted global efforts. This House has had multiple robust debates regarding our climate targets and initiatives, including Parliamentary Motions on climate change, dedicated Green Plan segments during Committee of Supply debates in 2021 and 2022, and most recently during the second reading of the Carbon Pricing (Amendment) Bill. It should be clear to this House and Singaporeans that we have taken decisive steps towards reaching net zero and that our targets, policies and plans reflect Singapore’s commitment to international climate action. 

Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
9 January 2023

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