Singapore’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions Per Capita and Carbon Intensity

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Policies

singapore-in-blackIs Singapore carbon intensive and a big contributor of carbon dioxide per capita in the world? How do we compare with other developed countries? Let’s take a look at Singapore’s total carbon dioxide emissions, carbon dioxide emissions per capita, and carbon intensity.

1. Carbon Dioxide Emissions

According to the National Climate Change Strategy, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Singapore are generated from the following sectors (in 2005):

singapore-carbon-emissions

Singapore’s total absolute CO2 emissions and CO2 emissions per capita from 1990 to 2007 is shown in the graph below, based on statistics from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the National Climate Change Strategy and the Singapore Department of Statistics.

carbon-emissions-in-singapore

Singapore’s CO2 emissions is 39.9 Mt in 2007, which accounts for less than 0.2% of global CO2 emissions. The graph shows that Singapore’s CO2 emissions has increased about 83% from 1990 to 2007 but has remained relatively constant over the past 4 years. The CO2 emissions per capita has also reached a peak in 2004 and declined slowly. This is likely due to the switch to cleaner natural gas for power generation and other energy efficiency measures by the government.

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2. Carbon Intensity

Carbon intensity is usually measured in terms of the CO2 emissions per dollar GDP at 2000 prices. A low carbon intensity means that the country is able to produce each unit of output with less CO2 emissions.

The graph below shows Singapore’s carbon intensity from 1990 to 2007, based on statistics from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the National Climate Change Strategy and the Singapore Department of Statistics.

carbon-intensity-in-singapore

Singapore’s carbon intensity is 0.17 kgCO2/2000S$ in 2007 and has dropped by about 39% from 1990 to 2007, likely due to the switch to cleaner natural gas for power generation and other energy efficiency measures. Under the Singapore Green Plan 2012, a target has been set to improve our carbon intensity by 25% from 1990 level by 2012. We have already met the target and even exceeded it.

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3. Discrepancy Between Carbon Statistics

There is some dispute on whether Singapore is carbon intensive and a big contributor of CO2 per person in the world, which arises due to the different sources of energy statistics used. There are two commonly quoted sources of energy statistics – the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The graph below shows the CO2 emissions per capita for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the CO2 emissions per capita for Singapore is much higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the CO2 emissions per capita for Singapore is lower than other developed countries such as the US, Australia and Finland.

co2-per-capita

The graph below shows the carbon intensity for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the carbon intensity for Singapore is higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the carbon intensity for Singapore is lower than the world average and other developed countries such as the US, Australia and Finland.

carbon-intensity

The discrepancy between the EIA and IEA statistics is due to the different calculation of energy consumption. The energy consumption based on the EIA is higher as it includes marine bunkers in its calculation and as Singapore is the largest marine bunkering centre in the world, our energy consumption is thus overestimated, which in turn leads to higher CO2 emissions and carbon intensity for Singapore. On the other hand, IEA excludes marine bunkers from its calculation of energy consumption. Read the Overview of the Energy Situation in Singapore for more discussion on the discrepancy.

Image credit: mjamesno; Key CO2 Contributors (2005) via National Climate Change Strategy.

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