10 Facts About S’pore’s Green Plan 2030 That’s Set to Outline What We’ll Do in the Next 10 Years

It may not seem like it, but Earth is dying.

Our relentless pursuit of growth and progress has caused significant damage to this little planet we call home.

Overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation have triggered concerning changes in our climate.

If left unchecked, climate change can cause widespread devastation of the planet’s ecosystems and even wipe out the human species.

That’s why countries all over the globe are scrambling to be more green, as we’ve been rather unfriendly to the environment thus far.

One such country is Singapore, and the authorities have recently announced a rather ambitious plan to advance the country’s national agenda on sustainable development.

Here are 10 facts about Singapore’s Green Plan 2030,  a “whole-of-nation movement” for the next decade.

It Has Five Main Goals, All of Which are to Fight Climate Change

In short, the Green Plan 2030 aims to make the country more green and sustainable.

The plan has 5 key pillars:

  1. City in Nature – Create a green, liveable, and sustainable home for Singaporeans
  2. Sustainable Living –  Reduce carbon emissions, keep the environment clean, and save resources
  3. Energy Reset –  Use cleaner energy and increase energy efficiency to lower carbon footprint
  4. Green Economy – Seek green growth opportunities to create new jobs, transform industries, and harness sustainability as a competitive advantage
  5. Resilient Future – Build up Singapore’s climate resilience and enhance food security

The plan will also help the country fulfil its commitments under the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Five Different Ministries Will be Involved in Executing the Plan

This plan is clearly of great importance to the country’s future, as five different ministries will be involved in executing it.

They are the Ministries of Education, National Development, Sustainability and the Environment, Trade and Industry, and Transport.

So, what changes can we expect?

All New Car Registrations From 2030 Will Have to be Cleaner-energy Models

As part of the plan, all new car registrations will be required to be cleaner-energy models from 2030.

Another initiative involves more than doubling the targeted number of electric vehicle charging points by the same year.

Singapore will also only purchase cleaner-energy public buses and encourage walking and cycling.

Speaking of which…

There Will Be Three Times as Many Cycling Paths

Good news for cyclists: you don’t have to worry about lorries slamming into you on the road.

One initiative of the Green Plan 2030 involves increasing cycling paths from 460km today to 1,320km, which means there will be three times as many cycling paths by 2030.

It also aims to expand the rail network from about 230km today to 360km.

50% More Land Will Be Set Aside For Nature Parks

The five ministries spearheading the plan also hope to increase the amount of land set aside for nature parks by more than 50%.

So, there will be more green spaces and park connectors where we can indulge in recreational activities such as hiking and birdwatching.

In fact, if everything goes according to plan, every household will be within 10-minute walking distance of a park by 2030.

Another goal of the plan is to plant 1 million more trees across the island by 2030, which means we’ll have to double our annual tree planting rate.

More Multi-Story Carparks Will Have Community Gardens on Top

Picture this: on your way back from your morning run, you grab some fresh veggies from a community garden on top a HDB multi-storey car park to have for lunch.

It sounds crazy, but it might just happen in 2030.

More urban farms and community gardens will be set up at multi-storey car parks in HDB residential areas.

The government has a plan not only to make HDB towns greener, but more sustainable.

By 2030, the total solar capacity on HDB rooftops will be doubled, and HDB towns will utilise smart LED lighting that uses 60% less energy than normal LED lighting.

The government’s objective is to reduce energy consumption in existing HDB towns by 15% by 2030.

Such plans have also given rise to new town concepts, such as the upcoming HDB centre in Tengah, which will be completely car-free.

At Least 20% of Schools Will Be Carbon Neutral

Another target of the plan is to have at least 20% of schools be carbon neutral “for a start”.

This means that any emissions they create must be offset by emissions they reduce elsewhere.

The rest of the schools will soon follow, as the country will work towards a two-thirds reduction of net carbon emissions from the school sector by 2030.

We Aim to Produce 30% of Our Own Food by 2030

As PM Lee noted in a Facebook post, Singapore is a small country lacking in natural resources.

But through technology and good policy, we can achieve sustainable development.

One way the government can achieve this is by meeting 30% of the country’s nutritional needs through locally produced food.

Yes, we aim to produce nearly one-third of our own food.

As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, Singapore has to be prepared for crises that will cause disruptions to trade and supply chains, as they could impede the delivery of goods such as food.

Jurong Island Will Be Transformed Into a Sustainable Energy & Chemicals Park

While much of the country is clean and green, one only has to take a look at Jurong Island to recognise that Singapore is contributing to the world’s carbon footprint.

The island is the heart of the Singapore’s petrochemical industry, where many oil companies have a refinery.

This is where crude oil is transformed and refined into more useful products such as petroleum.

As a result, the island is a large source of carbon emissions.

But by 2030, this fossil fuel haven will become a sustainable energy and chemicals park.

It’s Part of our Long-term Goal to Have Net-Zero Emissions

Singapore has some admirable goals, but we certainly have a long way to go.

On the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world, Singapore came in 39th, behind countries like South Korea, New Zealand, and Japan.

This is why the Green Plan 2030, while ambitious and far-reaching, is only a small part of Singapore’s long-term environmental goals.

The country aims to halve its 2030 peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and to achieve net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century.

This means achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions removed from the atmosphere.

It’s a tough ask, but we owe the planet that much.

Featured Image: shutterofdreams / Shutterstock.com