Fifty-two-and-a-half million tonnes of greenhouse gases was generated by Singapore in 2017, with industries contributing about 60 per cent of this amount, said Senior Minister for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon on Monday (Oct 7).
Around three-quarters of industries’ emissions was from the refining and petrochemicals sector, added Dr Koh.
According to the National Climate Change Secretariat, the 52.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases generated by Singapore represents about 0.11 per cent of global emissions.
Greenhouse gases have kept Earth’s climate habitable for humans by trapping heat from the Sun. Over time those gases go out of balance and threaten climate change drastically.
Levels of greenhouse gases go up primarily because humans have released them into the air by burning fossil fuels. The gases absorb solar energy and keep heat close to Earth’s surface, rather than letting it escape into space.
In 2017, 190 Mtoe (millions tonnes of oil equivalent) of fossil fuels was imported into Singapore, revealed Dr Koh. Of which about 55 Mtoe was refined into higher value chemicals and fuels, mostly exported for use in other countries. The rest was largely for power generation and transportation.
The threat of greenhouse gases going forward, affects human and economic life on a tremendous scale. Extreme weather, food supply disruptions, and increased wildfires are other effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gases. The typical weather patterns we have grown to expect will change endangering the survival of humanity.
The intention to stabilise emissions is significant, as this will enable businesses, especially those with intensive energy operations, to be more energy and carbon efficient.
On responding to a question from nominated Member of Parliament Anthea Ong, Dr Koh stated that Singapore is implementing measures to reduce greenhouse emissions by industries. The National Environment Agency (NEA) is planning to launch a new grant to help companies digitalise their energy management systems in accordance with the leveling of greenhouse gas emissions. Also Dr Koh affirmed that when firms expand their operations or new companies opt to invest in Singapore, the Government also works closely with them to ensure a high standard of efficiency.
Singapore has taken proactive measures in descaling the level of greenhouse gas emission and to achieve a 36% reduction in Emissions Intensity by 2030 as pledged in accordance with the Paris agreement.
In regards to defending greenhouse gas emissions, apart from industries, individuals will also need to make more environment friendly choices in going about their daily activities. There must be stronger initiatives to enhance green growth opportunities from continued investment in research and development in energy efficiency innovations, as well as attracting and growing clean technology activities. -/TISG