COP26 outcome key as Singapore won’t be spared climate impact: Fu

Minister says Republic must 'do our part' and convince Singaporeans to 'take collective action'

Singapore will not be spared the impacts of climate change, which is why the outcome of the COP26 climate summit is something the Republic must pay attention to, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu.

Speaking to Singapore media in Glasgow on Saturday, she added: "The discussion here today will require us to take more action. There are some obligations as a party under this agreement, we have to do our part."

For instance, as part of the Glasgow Climate Pact, nations are requested to revisit and strengthen their 2030 climate targets to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of next year.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries should take steps to limit global warming to well below 2 deg C - preferably 1.5 deg C - above pre-industrial levels.

Climate scientists have shown that this threshold will help the world avoid harsher climate impacts.

Singapore's current target is for its emissions to continue to increase until 2030 - when they reach their peak - before they start to decline.

But the United Nations has recommended that for the world to have a better chance at limiting warming to the 1.5 deg C target, emissions must be nearly halved by 2030 from 2010 levels, and reach net zero by 2050.

The 2022 review of national climate pledges is part of the Glasgow Climate Pact that almost 200 nations, including Singapore, agreed on to step up efforts to avoid dangerous climate change.

The deal was gavelled through by COP26 president Alok Sharma after negotiations ran more than a day overtime as countries sought to find common ground on thorny issues such as carbon markets and climate finance.

Ms Fu said Singapore recognises its obligation and responsibility under the latest pact to review its climate pledge.

"We'll definitely do our part to comply with the requirements," she added, noting that the Government will also consider the potential that carbon markets can offer.

Ms Fu said the region will not be spared the impacts of climate change, whether they are increasingly intense tropical cyclones or erratic rainfall patterns.

"This will have an impact on important issues such as food security, food supply and water. It has real, serious implications for properties. And you have seen how devastating some of these extreme weather events can be on the lives of people and also loss of properties."

She added: "There must be an appreciation in Singapore about the impact of climate change. We must convince and encourage Singaporeans to take collective action."

The Glasgow Climate Pact calls on nations to "phase down" the use of unabated coal, the most pollutive of fossil fuels, and urges developed nations to at least double finance for adaptation in developing countries.

Adaptation measures, such as the building of sea walls or planting of weather-resilient crops, are strategies nations can take to reduce the impacts of climate change.