Additional measures for Singapore Green Plan 2030 announced in Budget 2021
The additional measures will focus on urban solutions and initiatives to tackle climate change more effectively.
On Tuesday (Feb 16), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat unveiled additional measures to support the Singapore Green Plan 2030 during Budget 2021.
Named the Emerging Stronger Together Budget, the additional measures for the Singapore Green Plan will cover areas in technology, capital and society.
The decade-long Singapore Green Plan 2030, was first introduced on Wednesday (10 Feb) to advance the nation’s sustainability development through a series of measures laid out in the coming years. The plan will strengthen Singapore’s economic, climate and resource resilience.
1. Food Resilience
Urban solutions and sustainability will be a focus under RIE (Research, Innovation and Enterprise) 2025 where greater investments will be made towards research to help “build a more sustainable and liveable environment”.
“Technology is one such game changer and will open new possibilities. We harnessed technology to overcome our water and land constraints and we will do the same for climate change,” said DPM Heng.
Citing the success of Eco-Ark, where innovations in aqua cultural technologies improved overall output, DPM Heng said that the use of technology is beneficial in improving food resilience and meeting the nation’s 30-by-30 goal.
In the agricultural sector, $60 million will be set aside under the Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Fund to improve agricultural productivity with the use of technology.
The fund will replace the Agricultural Productivity Fund and further details will be announced by the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment at a later date.
2. Encouraging the use of Electric Vehicles (EV)
“Electric vehicles are the most promising clean vehicle technology today,” said DPM Heng.
DPM Heng unveiled plans to accelerate the development of the EV infrastructure in Singapore. The Government will aim to deploy 60,000 charging points at public car parks and private premises by 2030, up from the previous target of 28,000 charging points.
About $30 million will also be set aside for EV related initiatives over the next five years to catalyse partnerships between the private and public sector.
To further encourage the adoption of EV, the Government will narrow cost differentials between electric cars and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars. Additional Registration Fees for EV will be lowered to zero from Jan 2022 to Dec 2023.
With immediate effect, premium petrol duty rates will be raised by 15 cents per litre while intermediate petrol duty rates will be raised by 10 cents per litre.
DPM Heng also introduced several incentives to ease the transition including a one-year road tax rebate and additional petrol duty rebates for affected motorists. The road tax rebates will take effect by August 2021.
“Taken together, these measures will offset one year of petrol duty increase for taxi and motorcycles and two-third for commercial vehicles and cars,” he said.
3. Green finance
In his speech, DPM Heng said that sustainability efforts require capital and green finance will be an important enabler in these efforts.
The Government will issue green bonds on select public infrastructure projects.
Citing the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s efforts in developing green finance through the Green Finance Action Plan, DPM Heng said that the issuance of the bonds will “build on efforts by deepening market liquidity for green bonds, attracting green issuers, capital and investors and anchoring singapore as a green finance hub”.
The Government has identified more than $19 billion of public sector green projects to be financed with green bonds. One such project includes Tuas Nexus, an integrated waste and water treatment facility that maximises energy and resource recovery in its processes.
4. Enabling sustainability initiatives among Singaporeans
Besides technology and capital, DPM Heng noted that the third key enabler for the Green Plan is the action of Singaporeans in their daily lives.
DPM Heng said that the Government will lead by example with ministries having charted out their plans to meet resource targets, such as reducing electricity and water consumption, under the Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environmental Sustainability initiative.
As part of the Green Plan 2030, the government will also be committing to meet “more ambitious goals” under the GreenGov.SG initiative to give the public sector a “renewed focus towards national sustainability goals”.
The carbon tax level introduced during Budget 2018 for greenhouse gas emissions will be maintained at $5 per ton until 2023 as previously announced.
The Government will review the carbon tax in consultation with industry and expert groups post 2023 and levels are set to rise to $10 to $15 per ton by 2030.
Under the first SG Eco Fund grant call, which has since received more than 200 proposals, DPM Heng shared that the Government will aim to partner with more ground up projects in the coming future.
The Ministry of Sustainability and Environment will provide further details on the GreenGov.SG initiative.
More information can be found on the Green Plan website here.