Singapore to review its climate change target as world leaders agree COP26 deal

US oil futures were up 3.9 per cent at US$65.13 a barrel at 8.13am in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

GLASGOW, Nov 14, 2021, CNA. The Singapore Government will go back and review its climate change target after top level talks concluded late on Saturday (Nov 13) at COP26, Channel News Asia reported.

The Glasgow Climate Pact was finally agreed to after negotiations stretched more than 24 hours past the deadline in Glasgow.

For the first time, world parties agreed to reduce the burning of coal, and also promised to more urgently cut carbon emissions and provide more money to developing countries to adapt to climate change impacts.

Singapore agreed to the final text, which Minister for Sustainability and Environment Grace Fu said helped keep alive the ambition of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“This has been a most productive conference as it has demonstrated the weight of momentum for global climate action. It’s a very big win for the multilateral approach in addressing climate change,” Ms Fu told reporters in Glasgow.

“This COP really has seen great momentum all round. We have made progress in all areas.

“Not everyone is happy on all counts but we hope that everyone will see this as an important first step to operationalise the Paris Agreement rulebook that we have agreed on and use that as a foundation to further work to be done at subsequent COPs.”

Part of the pact requests parties return to next year’s COP, to be held in Egypt, with even more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are national roadmaps explaining how each country plans to reach net zero.

A work programme has also been set up for countries to increase ambition by 2030, which is seen as crucial to slow down the overheating of the planet.

While acknowledging that she had been questioned by activists, NGOs and some ministers about Singapore’s overall climate goals, Ms Fu said Singapore would now review its targets.

In its latest NDC, released in 2020, Singapore stated an aim of “achieving net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century”.

“We will go back and look at what we need to do, look at our responsibilities and review our position. We will review the NDC seriously. This whole package requires us as a party to take them seriously,” she said.

Climate Action Tracker, an independent scientific analysis that monitors countries’ climate goals still rates Singapore’s climate policies as “critically insufficient” and “not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement”.

In September, the National Climate Change Secretariat said the Climate Action Tracker report may not have fully accounted for the unique challenges Singapore faced.

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