US climate summit: Singapore will overcome constraints, meet emission targets through innovation, says PM Lee

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SINGAPORE – The Republic may be small and without access to resources, but it will strive to achieve its climate targets through innovation, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (April 23).

He was speaking on the second day of the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, which was convened by United States President Joe Biden.

Mr Lee said that Singapore was turning to technology to reduce its emissions and adapt to the changing climate.

For instance, the country has limited access to renewable energy options.

“Nevertheless, we plan to quadruple solar energy production by 2025,” Mr Lee said, pointing to how Singapore is home to the world’s largest floating solar energy system that can offset 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

It was earlier reported that when the floating solar farm at Tengeh Reservoir becomes operational, carbon savings from it will be equivalent to removing 7,000 cars from the roads.

As for adaptation, PM Lee said Singapore is also concerned about the impact of rising urban temperatures on its compact and dense urban environment.

“To moderate this, we are using computer modelling for more climate-responsive urban design, experimenting with special cooling paint on buildings, and planting one million more trees,” he added.

Mr Lee was one of 40 world leaders who attended the two-day virtual summit, which is aimed at galvanising nations to do more to slash emissions.

Speaking during the session on “unleashing climate innovation”, Mr Lee said that despite its small size, Singapore was doing its part to contribute to the global climate agenda.

It was among the first 20 countries to submit its long-term strategy for emissions reduction to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the Republic is party to.

Singapore’s goal is to halve emissions from its 2030 peak by 2050, with a view to achieving net-zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century.

PM Lee also pointed to the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the nation’s roadmap to sustainable development, which was launched earlier this year.

In his speech,