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Singapore’s Environment Minister Co-Chairs Session on Differentiation at Informal Ministerial Consultations on Climate Change in Paris, 20-21 Jul 2015

July 23, 2015

Minister for the Environment Izabella Teixeira, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Ms. Christiana Figueres (Source: Dr. Balakrishnan’s Facebook Page)

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan attended the Informal Ministerial Consultations on climate change in Paris, France, from 20 to 21 Jul 2015. He co-facilitated a discussion on differentiation with Brazilian Minister for the Environment Izabella Teixeira.

The Informal Ministerial Consultations on climate change was hosted by France and Peru, and served as a preparatory meeting for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP) and 11th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) to be held in December 2015 in Paris.

The Informal Ministerial Consultations was intended at allowing Ministers from different regional groups in the climate negotiations to exchange views on a future climate agreement.

Minister Balakrishnan was accompanied by officials from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He will next be speaking at the ASEAN Power Shift 2015 on 25 July 2015.

On 4 July 2015, Singapore submitted it’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions of an emissions intensity reduction of 36% from 2005 levels by 2030. Singapore’s emissions intensity is projected to decline by 2.5% annually from 2021 to 2030, compared to 1.5% annually from 2005 to 2020.

Year Emissions Intensity (kgCO2e/S$GDP)
2005 0.176
2030 (expected) 0.113

The INDC also noted that Singapore is planning to stabilize emissions with aim of peaking around 2030. This is similar to two other INDCs from Mexico (“net emissions peak starting from 2026”) and China (“to achieve peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and making best efforts to peak early”). Singapore also added that it would “continue to study the potential of international market mechanisms”. Singapore’s INDC includes an adaptation component (only 11 out of 20 INDCs submitted so far have adaptation components).

Singapore, a tiny island city-state, is pulling its weight in climate change diplomacy. Singapore has consistently been ahead of the game when it comes to participating at relevant multilateral platforms, including the UNFCCC. Following the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol being passed, Singapore was the 14th country to submit its instrument of acceptance of the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on 23 September 2014, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York.  As of today, only 38 countries have done so. A total of 144 instruments of acceptance are required for the entry into force of the amendment.

In December 2014, Singapore was the third country to submit its 3rd National Communication/1st Biennial Update Report. Developing country Parties are required to submit their first NC within three years of entering the Convention, and every four years thereafter. The Biennial Update Reports were due at the end of December 2014.

In the case of INDCs, Singapore is the 45th country to do so. As of 23 July 2015, only 20 submissions have been made, although notably the EU’s submission represents that of all 28 Member States.

Singapore has and will likely continue to play a facilitating role in the development of the new Paris Agreement expected to be agreed on in December in Paris. The new agreement is expected to commit all countries (not only developed countries, as in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol). We commend the Minister and the Singapore delegation for their hard work and look forward to good news later this year.

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Sources: MEWR, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan Facebook Page, UNFCCC INDC Submissions Portal

See also: Who’s who in the world of climate change diplomacy?

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