The Singapore Green Plan aka the Green Plan is a top-level national 10-year agenda to achieve Singapore’s plan on sustainable development.
The Green Plan is a multi-ministry effort spearheaded by five ministries
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of National Development
- Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
- Ministry of Trade and Industry
- Ministry of Transport
There will also be a new SAF Sustainability Office under the Ministry of Defence which will focus its go-green efforts on three major initiatives: to reduce carbon emissions, water and waste.
Some goals include
- Replacing the current administrative vehicle fleet with an all-electric one by 2030
- Commencing trials of green aviation fuel for some F-16 planes
- Increasing investments in water-recycling systems.
- Reducing the use of water by 10 per cent by 2030.
The green initiatives are to align Mindef with the Green Plan 2030.
The Green Plan has ambitious and concrete targets over the next decade, reaffirming Singapore’s commitments under the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Agreement. It also positions us to achieve our long-term net-zero emissions goals as soon as possible.
Singapore would like to build on its existing sustainability efforts for a chance for a better future.
Climate change is a global priority as it has brought about rising sea levels and extreme weather, threatening the lives of many. As a low-lying island, climate change especially affects Singapore. So, we need a tangible plan to combat it and at the same time continue growing sustainably.
It is challenging for Singapore to implement policies like other countries do as we have limited land size. For the lack of land size, Singapore will make up for it via technology and policies.
I would supplement the information found on the Green Plan website with other information I have gathered.
What is the difference between the Green Plan and Zero Waste Masterplan?
The Zero Waste Masterplan is one of the many schemes that come under the Green Plan. All the various schemes will come together to achieve the targets of the Green Plan. The schemes listed below are not exhaustive.
- Singapore Green Building Masterplan
- SLE Technology Roadmap
- HDB Green Towns Programme
- BCA Green Mark Scheme
- Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme 2.0
- SG Eco Fund
- Sustainable Singapore Blueprint
- Zero Waste Masterplan
- 3 Food Baskets
- Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Fund
- Green Finance Action Plan
- Enterprise Sustainability Programme
- Research, Innovation & Enterprise Plan 2025
- Green And Sustainability-Linked Loan Grant Scheme (GSLS)
Here is a list of targets under the Green Plan.
- Plant 1 million more trees.
- Increase solar deployment to 1.5 gigawatt peak (GWp) by 2025, and at least 2 GWp by 2030.
- Expand the cycling network to 1,320km by 2030.
- Increase rail network to 360km by early 2030s.
- All newly registered cars to be cleaner-energy models from 2030.
- Reduce waste sent to our landfill per capita per day by 20% by 2026, with the goal of reaching 30% by 2030.
- Increase the share of trips taken on mass public transport to 75% by 2030.
- At least 20% of schools to be carbon neutral by 2030.
- Promote sustainable fuels for international trade and travel.
- Phase out refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment that use high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants from 4th quarter 2022.
- Use 15% less energy in HDB towns by 2030.
- Green 80% of all buildings over the next decade.
- Produce 30% of our nutritional needs by 2030 locally (30-by-30 target).
- Introduce an Enterprise Sustainability Programme, to help enterprises, especially SMEs, embrace sustainability and develop capabilities in this area.
- Create new and diverse job opportunities in sectors such as green finance, sustainability consultancy, verification, credits trading and risk management.
- Be a leading centre for Green Finance in Asia and globally, by building up the financial sector’s resilience to environmental risks, developing green financial solutions, build knowledge and capabilities, and leveraging innovation and technology.
- Promote homegrown innovation under the Research and Innovation & Enterprise Plan 2025, and attract companies to anchor their R&D activities in Singapore to develop new sustainability solutions.
The 5 Pillars Of The Green Plan
There are 5 pillars that will direct our efforts towards sustainability.
1. City in Nature
Source: MIT Treepedia
Singapore tops the list of 17 cities on the Green View Index which uses satellite images to measure canopy coverage.
1000 hectares will be set aside for green spaces. Green spaces are land that is partly or completely covered with grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation.
Some popular green spaces include
- Gardens by the Bay
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Macritchie Nature Trail & Reservoir Park
- Fort Canning Park
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
- Punggol Waterway
Around 200 hectares will be set aside for nature parks. Every household will live within a 10-minute walk of a park. There are currently 350 parks, gardens and nature reserves under NParks.
aA balance has to be struck between the preservation of raw forests and the development of green spaces. Forests like the Dover Forest should be preserved and left alone as much as possible.
One million trees will be planted across our island, which will absorb another 78,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. To date, TreesSG has planted over 150,000 trees across Singapore via the OneMillionTrees movement. In 2021, there are currently about 2 million trees planted along roadsides, in parks and on state land. This will allow Singaporeans will enjoy cleaner air and lower the surface and air temperature.
Cool and shaded environments provided by trees are conducive for exercising, active transportation and the communal use of green spaces. They help to enhance the physical, mental and social well-being of the community.
Humans And Wildlife Coexistence
There is plenty of wildlife in urban Singapore. There are an estimated 40,000 species of organisms in Singapore.
Therefore, programmes will be developed together with communities and NGOs to allow humans and wildlife to live in the same space harmoniously.
2. Energy Reset
The following energy optimization efforts will reduce our energy consumption by more than 8 million megawatt-hours per year.
This amount of energy is sufficient to power almost all our households’ annual energy use in 2030. This will result in reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 3 million tonnes annually by 2030.
Green Energy Adoption
Singapore’s installed solar capacity was 203 MWp in 2018, and we aim to increase this to 1 GWp beyond 2020, equivalent to powering about 210,000 4-room HDB flats.
For solar energy to form a significant portion of our energy needs, we will need research on technologies like efficient high-capacity batteries to store energy when the weather is ideal. These batteries will then kick in during the night or when the weather is not ideal i.e., rainy or cloudy.
By 2025, Singapore would quadruple its solar energy deployment. This will include cover rooftops of HDBs, commercial properties and floating solar panels on reservoirs.
Singapore will also import electricity generated from green sources from ASEAN and beyond.
Singapore’s Energy Story sets the vision for how Singapore can power our future through four switches
- Natural Gas
- Regional Power Grids
- Emerging Low-Carbon Alternatives
Currently, about 95% of Singapore’s energy requirements come from natural gas. New gas-fired power plants built will have increase efficiencies and reduced waste.
Eco-Friendly Buildings And Districts
Over the next decade, Singapore will green 80% of all buildings. “Green” means that the building needs to have high ratings for the following criteria
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Efficiency
- Environmental Protection
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Other Green and Innovative Features that contribute to better building performance
As of 2019, Singapore has greened more than 40% of its buildings by floor area.
Eco-friendly districts like the Jurong Lake District will be a model residential and commercial district. It will be sustainable with district cooling, solar power deployment and super low-energy buildings.
Source: Jurong Lake District
Some eco-friendly features in the Jurong Lake District include
- North-South building orientation reduces solar heat gain and enhances wind flow
- Solar panels capture renewable energy
- Naturally-ventilated public spaces reduce energy usage
- District cooling system pipes cool air directly to homes to save energy
- Green Mark Platinum office buildings reduce energy consumption by 30%
All newly-registered cars have to be of cleaner-energy status. This will include hybrids and fully electric cars. Currently, all new public buses are already hybrid or electric.
As of late 2020, we have approximately 1,800 EV charging points. The previous target of 28,000 charging points is now increased to 60,000 by 2030.
There will be also road tax incentives and lower registration fees to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles announced during the Budget 2021.
The aim is to completely phase out internal combustion engine (petrol and diesel) vehicles and have all vehicles run on cleaner energy.
3. Sustainable Living
Singapore will transform from a linear economy to a circular economy. Processes will have to be redesigned to reduce the amount of waste produced at each step. As our only Semakau Landfill is projected to be full by 2035, significant steps have to be taken. By 2030, we aim to reduce the waste sent to our landfill by 30%. The efforts will be front-loaded over the next 5 years to achieve a 20% reduction by 2026.
Public transport will have increased investments to allow our MRT network to be comparable to major cities like London and New York City under the Land Transport Master Plan 2040. The goal is to bring 8 in 10 households within a 10-minute walk of a train station by the 2030s.
Public transport is the most efficient and sustainable form of motorised transport. A car carrying only the driver uses 9 times the energy used by a bus and 12 times that used by a train on a per passenger-kilometre travelled basis. The percentage of trips take via public transport will be increased from 64% to 75% by 2030.
New town concepts, such as Tengah, will have the first car-free HDB centre. It will free up space for public transport, activities and green spaces.
Eco Stewardship Programme
The programme will build sustainability-focused mindsets and habits since young. Sustainability will be a key part of the curriculum from the Primary to Pre-University level.
School buildings will also be “greened” with the aim of 20% of schools to be carbon neutral and a 66% decrease in net carbon emissions from the school sector by 2030.
4. Green Economy
We need to achieve a balance between progress and sustainability. Sustainability can also be a competitive advantaged when climate change is now a global issue of concern and more consumers preferring greener product and services.
In the Budget 2021, green bonds issued by the government for public infrastructure projects were announced. Green bonds are a type of fixed-income instrument that is specifically set aside to raise money for climate and environmental projects.
Singapore’s vision is to be a global Green Financial Hub via the Green Finance Action Plan. An estimated US$200 billion worth of green investments is needed in ASEAN annually till 2030. Green investments will include efforts in
- Renewable energy
- Battery technology
- Smart grids
Source: Money Authority of Singapore
Enterprise Sustainability Programme
The Enterprise Sustainability Programme will help local companies stay competitive by
- Growing their capabilities to adopt sustainable practices, solutions and standards
- Enhance their resource efficiency
- Capture new business opportunities
Research, Innovation & Enterprise Plan 2025
Under the Research, Innovation & Enterprise Plan 2025, homegrown innovation will be promoted and companies will be encouraged to base their R&D activities locally.
The aim is to develop sustainability solutions including
- Carbon capture, utilisation and storage
- Low-carbon hydrogen
- Energy-efficient materials
- Solutions for the circular economy
Jurong Island will be a model for the adoption of such solutions. It will transform into a sustainable energy and chemicals park that improves efficiency, uses carbon capture technologies and reduces sulphur dioxide emissions.
5. Resilient Future
Protections Against Rising Sea Levels
There will be research and solutions will be developed to better understand our coastlines.
Physical defences like seawalls and barrages will be put in place to protect our coastlines along City-East Coast, around Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Kadut, and Jurong Island.
Reducing Urban Heat Effect
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is caused by the heat generated from human activities like air-conditioners and traffic and trapped by urban surfaces such as buildings and roads.
This will be counteracted by increasing the amount of greenery in the surroundings and using solutions like cool paint on building facades by reflecting solar radiation before it can be absorbed.
Food Security – 30×30
- Diversify import sources to reduce the risk of reliance on any single food supply source
- Grow local to provide buffer supply in event of overseas supply disruptions
- Grow overseas to help local companies expand abroad and export food back
In the Budget 2021, a $60 million Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Fund is introduced to help technology adoption in the agri-food sector. This will replace the current Agriculture Productivity Fund by the SFA.
Source: Green Plan
- Adopt sustainable habits
- Start a sustainability project using the SG Eco Fund
- Avoid driving and take public transport, walk or cycle
- Support local produce
- Adopt sustainable habits
- Utilize the SG Eco Fund
- Green Finance Masterplan
- Green and Sustainability-Linked Loan Grant Scheme (GSLS)
- Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025
- BCA Green Mark
Climate change brings about both threats to beat and opportunities to harness. The Singapore Green Plan 2030 is a multi-ministry whole-nation effort on Singapore’s future sustainable development. This is done via the 5 pillars that cover every facet of our lives. There are multiple schemes within the Green Plan with concrete targets to hit. Individuals, businesses and the Government have a big part to play for us to adhere to the Green Plan and hit our targets.
If you have anything to contribute to the conversation, you can share it with the Green Plan team here.
On a budget? See Free Stuff To Do In Singapore
Check out my Breaking The Marketer’s Code series here
For more updates on my content,
• Add Consume Less Life to your bookmarks
Join my subreddit r/ConsumeLessLife to participate in discussions
Support the blog over here