The Inter-Ministerial Committee for Sustainable Development Unveils Blueprint for a Sustainable Singapore

April 27, 2009 by  
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This is a news release from Sustainable Singapore.

1. The Inter-Ministerial Committee for Sustainable Development (IMCSD) has unveiled a blueprint for Singapore’s sustainable development, detailing the key goals and initiatives for the next 10 to 20 years.

2. Speaking at a media conference, Minister for National Development and co-Chair of the IMCSD Mr Mah Bow Tan said, “The economic situation has changed dramatically since we set up this committee in February last year. The temptation is to slow down our efforts in the area of sustainable development while we tackle the immediate economic challenges. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. Even as we tackle the short-term challenges, we must build capability for our long-term development. Sustainable development must remain a national priority, in good times and bad, given our resource constraints, the demands of our growing city and the global challenge of climate change.” Minister Mah added, “Sustainable development can only be achieved through long-term attention and effort. We must act now. As individuals, we must be prepared to change the way we live, work, play and commute. As a nation, we have to invest to develop new technologies and alternative sources of energy.”

3. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and co-Chair of the IMCSD spoke on the targets the Committee has set. He said, “We have set concrete targets in the blueprint for 2020 and 2030 to guide our work. This reflects how serious we are about sustainable development. These targets will be reviewed regularly, as technology improves and the cost-effectiveness of measures changes.” Minister Yaacob also emphasized the role that all Singaporeans must play and how this could have a global impact, noting, “The government will play a catalytic role through setting aside $1bil to implement the IMCSD’s recommendations. However, achieving our goals will require a whole-of-nation effort. Through our joint efforts, Singapore can also do its part to contribute to global environmental sustainability.”

New Goals and Initiatives

4. The IMCSD’s blueprint details new targets and initiatives to improve resource efficiency and enhance Singapore’s urban environment. (Pl refer to Annex A). As a resource-scarce state dependant on imports, Singapore can become more competitive in the long run if it becomes more efficient in the use of resources such as energy, water and land. Therefore, the IMCSD has set targets in areas such as national energy efficiency, water consumption and recycling.

5. Singapore’s clean and green environment has made Singapore a good home for its residents, and an attractive destination for foreign visitors, talent and investments. Under the blueprint, efforts will be made to improve air quality, expand and open up green and blue spaces, conserve biodiversity and enhance public cleanliness. These efforts will make our urban environment even more liveable and attractive, even as Singapore continues to grow and develop. Targets have been set to measure the progress in these areas.

6. The blueprint also elaborates on plans to build new capabilities in sustainable development and foster community ownership and participation. The full report is available online at

Public Consultation and Feedback

7. The blueprint for a sustainable Singapore is jointly created by the people, private and public sectors (3P) in Singapore. Over the span of one year, the IMCSD met with members of the public and leaders of non-governmental organizations, businesses, grassroots organizations, academia, media as well as Mayors. More than 700 people contributed their views through various focus group discussions, and members of the public submitted over 1,300 suggestions. The IMCSD would like to thank everyone for their invaluable inputs to the Committee’s deliberations, and hopes that the 3P sectors will be as supportive in the implementation of the blueprint, as they have been in its formulation.

About the IMCSD

8. The IMCSD was set up in Jan 2008 to formulate a clear national framework and strategy for Singapore’s sustainable development in the context of emerging domestic and global challenges. The IMCSD is co-chaired by the Minister for National Development Mr Mah Bow Tan, and the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Dr Yaacob Ibrahim. The members are: the Minister for Finance Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the Minister for Transport Mr Raymond Lim and the Senior Minister of State for Trade & Industry Mr S. Iswaran.

Annex A


Improving our resource efficiency

1. Achieve 35% reduction in energy intensity (consumption per dollar GDP) from 2005 levels.

2. Achieve domestic water consumption of 140L per person per day, down from 156L per person per day.

3. Raise overall recycling rate to 70%.

4. Increase public transport modal share to 70% through doubling our rail network and developing a more integrated and seamless public transport system.

Enhancing our urban environment

5. Improve air quality by reducing ambient PM 2.5 (fine particles) levels to an annual mean of 12 ug/m3 and capping ambient SO2 (sulphur dioxide) levels at an annual mean of 15 ug/m3.

6. Reach a park provision of 0.8ha per 1000 persons and increase skyrise greenery by 50ha. Park connectors will be lengthened from 100km to 360km.

7. Increase blue spaces by opening up 900ha of reservoirs and 100km of waterways for recreational activities.

8. Increase accessibility and convenience for pedestrians and cyclists by expanding our covered linkways and cycling networks.

Building capability and expertise

9. Build Singapore into an international knowledge hub in sustainable development solutions.

Building an environmentally responsible community

10. Achieve a community in Singapore where environmental responsibility is a part of our people and business culture.


1. Buildings will be made more energy efficient.

a. $100mil Green Mark Incentive Scheme for existing buildings to undergo energy efficiency retrofitting.

b. Green Mark GFA Incentive Scheme for new buildings that can attain Green Mark GoldPlus and Platinum ratings

c. Green Mark GoldPlus and Platinum requirements will be incorporated as part of land sales requirements.

2. Eco-friendly public housing. Solar technology will be piloted at 30 public housing precincts nationwide. HDB will reduce energy use of HDB common areas by 20% to 30% and build more eco-friendly HDB housing starting with developments along Punggol Waterway.

3. Minimum performance standards for electrical appliances will be set to remove inefficient models from the market. The government will introduce minimum energy performance standards for household air-conditioners and refrigerators by 2011.

4. A National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan has been formulated to protect natural heritage and biodiversity in Singapore. Singapore will champion the development of a City Biodiversity Index under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

5. A greater push for clean transport including conducting clean transport technology trials and putting in place more cycling infrastructure. The trials will cover diesel hybrid buses, electric vehicles, as well as diesel particulate filters. More than $43 million will be invested into implementing cycling networks in selected HDB towns over the next 5 years.

6. New schemes to promote skyrise greenery will be introduced. These include a pilot grant scheme to co-fund the installation of green roofs, and bonus commercial Gross Floor Area for outdoor refreshment area use on landscaped rooftop. New developments in selected areas will have to provide landscape areas equivalent to their overall site area.

7. Clean technology and urban solutions will be promoted as new growth sectors. Jalan Bahar Clean Tech Park will be developed as the first business park to support R&D and test bedding of clean technologies.

8. Marina Bay and the Jurong Lake District will be developed as Singapore’s new generation of sustainable high-density districts, through requirements for Green Mark GoldPlus and Platinum buildings, landscape replacement policies, sustainable urban design etc.

9. District Sustainability Programmes will be implemented by each of the five Community Development Councils.

10. The public sector will adopt a range of new sustainable development initiatives. New medium and large air-conditioned public buildings are to achieve Green Mark Platinum standard while existing large air-conditioned public buildings are to attain Green Mark GoldPlus by 2020. All government agencies are to implement recycling programmes by 2009 and achieve PUB’s Water Efficient Building label for their buildings by 2010.

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