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Singapore Sectors

What is Singaporeʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

In Singapore, industry has the highest share in primary energy demand, 36.5% in 2019. It has grown at an annual rate of 5.3% since 2005.16 Singapore’s industrial sector accounts for 41% of its emissions, 10% of which comes from process related emissions.5 Electricity demand in industry is also steadily increasing since 1990 and in 2019 it reached 38%.16 Share of electricity in industrial energy mix is 24% in 2019, and would need to be around 35-42% by 2050 to be on a 1.5°C compatible pathway. All our analysed scenarios show a rapid decline in direct emissions from this sector to 8-12 MtCO₂/yr by 2030 and 1-2 MtCO₂/yr by 2050 from 2017 level of 167 gCO₂/kWh, mostly driven by increasing energy efficiency through energy conservation activities.

Primary energy demand in industry is mostly met by fossil fuels (~79% in 2020) with oil accounting for 64% of the mix and natural gas for 12%. All scenarios show a peaking of fossil energy demand by 2025-30 and a declining trend after that to reach 45-76% share by 2050.

The share of industrial process emissions is the second highest in total emissions (excl. LULUCF), 12.2 MtCO₂e/yr in 2019 (21% of total emissions) and it is showing an increasing trend since 1990.17 Electronics industry accounts for the biggest share of process emissions (71%).5 1.5°C pathway shows a declining trend of process emissions from 2025, reaching 0 to 3.5 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050 under different scenarios.

Energy Conservation Act of 2013 which mandates monitoring and reporting energy usage was again enhanced in 2017 and is an important policy intervention to improve energy efficiency of the industrial sector. Singapore is also considering hydrogen as a feedstock in industrial use.8 To further drive energy efficiency improvements, new industrial facilities and major expansion projects have to undergo design reviews to incorporate energy efficiency measures from 2018.18 In its biggest refinery on the Jurong island, the oil company Shell is exploring the possibility of setting up a a carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub and biofuels plant.6,19 As part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the government is taking various initiatives to enable sustainable production in this region. “Sustainable Jurong” outlines plans for sustainable products, energy efficient refineries, and carbon capture potential, along with research into “low carbon” hydrogen.7 CCS technology is marred with a history of failures and costs overrun, whereas green hydrogen has the potential to decarbonise hard to abate industry sectors.

1 Singapore government. Singapore’s Update of its First Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and Accompanying Information. (2020).

2 Climate Action Tracker. Singapore CAT Climate Target Update Tracker. Climate Action Tracker. (2020).

3 Channel News Asia. Singapore to review its climate change target as world leaders agree COP26 deal. (2021).

4 CAT. CAT Climate Target Update Tracker, Singapore. Climate Action Tracker. (2020).

5 National Environment Agency. Singapore’s Fourth Biennial Update Report. (2020).

6 Lau, H. C. et al. A Decarbonization Roadmap for Singapore and Its Energy Policy Implications. (2021) doi:10.3390/en14206455.

7 EDB: Singapore. Sustainable Jurong Island. 2021.

8 National Climate Change Secretariat. Charting Singapore’s Low-Carbon and Climate Resilient Future. (2020).

9 Strachen, E. & Greening, P. The Singapore Budget 2022 – A Continuing Commitment to Advancing Singapore’s Green Transition – Lexology. (2022).

10 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement. (2021).

11 Duarte, C., Raftery, P. & Schiavon, S. Development of Whole-Building Energy Models for Detailed Energy Insights of a Large Office Building with Green Certification Rating in Singapore. Energy Technol. 6, 84–93 (2018).

12 Climate Action Tracker. Singapore. (2020).

13 Wamsted, D. & Schlissel, D. Petra Nova Mothballing Post-Mortem: Closure of Texas Carbon Capture Plant Is a Warning Sign. (2020).

14 Sun Cable. Sun Cable Website. Sun Cable. (2021).

15 Vidinopoulos, A., Whale, J. & Fuentes Hutfilter, U. Assessing the technical potential of ASEAN countries to achieve 100% renewable energy supply. Sustain. Energy Technol. Assessments 42, 100878 (2020).

16 IEA. Singapore. International Energy Agency. (2021).

17 PIK. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series. (2021).

18 NCCS. Singapore’s Emissions Profile. (2021).

19 Lewis, J. Shell mulls Singapore carbon capture hub and biofuels plant. (2021).

20 Land Transport Authority. Land Transport Master Plan 2040. (2021).

21 Data excludes Land use, Land use change and forestry (LULUCF) emissions. However, Singapore’s LULUCF emissions account for very little (e.g. 0.1 MtCO₂e/yr in 2014).

22 32 MtCO₂e calculated in AR4 values by the Climate Action Tracker. Source cites 33 MtCO₂e/yr in AR5 GWP values.

23 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

Singaporeʼs energy mix in the industry sector

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Oil and e-fuels
  • Biomass
  • Biogas
  • Biofuel
  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen

Singaporeʼs industry sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)


  • Historical emissions
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

Singaporeʼs GHG emissions from industrial processes


  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible industry sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions, direct electrification rates, and combined shares of electricity, hydrogen and biomass from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Singapore

Decarbonised industry sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
8 to 12
2 to 6
1 to 2
2047 to 2052
Relative to reference year in %
−59 to −39%
−87 to −66%
−97 to −89%
Share of electricity
15 to 31
28 to 34
35 to 42
Share of electricity, hydrogren and biomass
17 to 33
36 to 40
44 to 55