Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the Introduction of the Sustainability Action Package at the COP27 Singapore Pavilion
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Singapore Pavilion. Through the pavilion, we hope to showcase Singapore’s commitment to climate action, in partnership with key stakeholders and friends across the world.
Partnerships as a Key Solution to Climate Change
2 As a low-lying small island state, Singapore faces existential challenges from climate change. We are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather patterns. Climate change will also put pressure on our access to critical resources such as water and food, and have ramifications on public health and diseases. This is why Singapore is committed to climate ambition and have set ambitious goals for climate action. Singapore has raised our climate ambition to achieve net zero by 2050. We have also enhanced our 2030 NDC to peak our emissions earlier, reducing our 2030 emissions from 65 to 60 million tonnes.
3 Singapore is a firm believer that collaborations and partnerships are vital to combatting climate change. In line with the COP27 Presidency’s theme for today, which is “Solutions”, we have focused the Pavilion’s theme today on “Partnerships”. Indeed, a global response is key to overcoming a global problem such as climate change.
4 At COP26 last year in Glasgow, Singapore was pleased to have contributed by co-facilitating Ministerial consultations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement alongside Norway, which led to its successful conclusion, after six long years. This provides a common framework for countries to cooperate on carbon markets, which can unlock much needed financing for projects with untapped mitigation potential while generating co-benefits such as advancing sustainable development, job creation and biodiversity protection.
5 However, moving to implementation may prove to be even more challenging. Singapore remains committed to collaborating internationally and working with like-minded partners to transform abstract into reality and implement solutions at scale to reach our global climate goals together. For example, we are planning to share localised climate projections, which are downscaled from global climate models by the Centre for Climate Research Singapore, with the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation, so that countries in the region can use them to equip themselves better in understanding the effects of climate change.
Singapore Cooperation Programme
6 Another way we have been doing so is by capacity building. Having benefitted immensely from the support of the international community which played critical roles in Singapore’s formative years post-independence, we established the Singapore Cooperation Programme in 1992, on the belief, verified by experience, that human resource development is key to nation-building. Over the past 30 years, the Singapore Cooperation Programme has focused on capacity-building while encouraging developing countries to share their development experiences and learn from one another. To date, close to 150,000 officials from fellow developing countries have participated in capacity-building courses under the Programme in areas such as sustainable development, urban planning, and transport management. Many of these courses have been structured in collaboration with partners like the UNFCCC, UNICEF and UN Environment Programme. The Singapore Cooperation Programme has been a way for us to give back and pay it forward to the international community for the assistance that we received in our nation’s infancy.
7 In 2018, we launched a dedicated Climate Action Package under the Singapore Cooperation Programme to offer capacity-building in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and green finance, among others. As an example, in September 2022, Singapore co-organised with New Zealand and carbon consultant South Pole a workshop for ASEAN Member States to support capacity-building related to Article 6.2 implementation. That same month, we also co-organised with Singapore think tank ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, German foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, and the UK COP26 Presidency a workshop on planning Southeast Asia’s decarbonisation pathways.
Sustainability Action Package (SAP)
8 Given the challenging geopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges we face today, ranging from global health issues to climate change and rising sea levels to disruptions by digital technologies, international cooperation has become even more important.
9 It is against this backdrop that we launched the new Sustainability Action Package (SAP) under the Singapore Cooperation Programme last month, to give greater focus to the global sustainability agenda. This package builds on the Climate Action Package, which concludes in March 2023, and will have a broader focus on sustainability. SAP courses will cover a wide range of sustainability themes such as adaptation and resilience-building strategies, green project management and financing, low carbon development and carbon markets. It will also sponsor a number of longer-term advisory projects in Southeast Asia to deepen capabilities on sustainability in our region.
10 Under the SAP, we welcome knowledge partners from the public and private sectors, and non-profit and international organisations to share their expertise and best practices on tackling sustainability and climate issues. I am pleased that some that we have spoken to share the same vision, and have already expressed early interest to be knowledge partners. These include South Pole, Schneider Electric, Sustainable Finance Institute Asia (SFIA) and McKinsey & Company, who will be running a taster workshop after this, to explore the opportunities that can be unlocked by sustainable finance. I look forward to the perspectives that will be gleaned from the workshop.
11 Let me conclude by saying that Singapore remains deeply committed to partnerships and cooperation in the fight against climate change. Capability-building will lift all boats and contribute to the preservation of the global commons, by ensuring all of us are equipped and prepared for our climate future. We hope that the SAP will bring us all one step closer in this mission.
12 Thank you for joining us today.