Air quality performance in 2019 for PM2.5, Sulphur Dioxide, Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide Emissions

Parliamentary Question, 6 March 2020

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/air-quality-nears-unhealthy-levels-on-friday-marking-the-start-of-a-hazy

Ms Anthea Ong asked the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) with respect to Singapore’s 2020 air quality targets, how did we perform in 2019 for PM2.5, sulphur dioxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide emissions; and (b) whether the Government will consider building and publishing emissions inventories for all pollutant types for better identification of the different sources of air pollutants and air quality management.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M: The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) benchmark Singapore’s air quality against the World Health Organisation (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines (AQG). Singapore has adopted as its 2020 air quality targets the WHO AQG for particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and ozone, and the WHO AQG’s Interim Targets for PM2.5 and sulphur dioxide (SO2).

Comparing Singapore’s 2019 performance with the 2020 air quality targets, we met the 2020 target for NO2 and CO. For SO2, while the annual target (annual mean) was met in 2019, the maximum 24-hour mean level exceeded the limit in one day of the year (recorded at 57 μg/m3). We did not meet the 2020 targets for particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and ozone in 2019. A summary of Singapore’s 2019 air quality performance in 2019 against the Singapore target by 2020 and the long term targets is shown in the table below.

We have implemented a suite of measures to reduce the emission of pollutants. We are tightening industrial emission standards for new and existing plants from 2015 to 2023. We have also introduced measures to manage emissions from vehicles. These include stricter standards for fuel quality and tighter emissions standards for new vehicles, as well as incentive schemes to turn over older, more pollutive vehicles and encourage the purchase of new and cleaner vehicles. We will continue to review these measures.

NEA conducts emissions inventory and source apportionment modelling studies to identify key sources of air pollutants in Singapore and develop air quality management strategies. These internal studies help us fine-tune and improve our air quality management strategies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anthea Ong is a Nominated Member of Parliament. (A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed by the President. They are not affiliated to any political party and do not represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament.)

The multi-sector perspective that comes from her ground immersion of 12 years in different capacities helps her translate single-sector issues and ideas across boundaries without alienating any particular community/group. As an entrepreneur and with many years in business leadership, it is innate in her to discuss social issues with the intent of finding solutions, or at least of exploring possibilities. She champions mental health, diversity and inclusion — and climate change in Parliament.

She is also an impact entrepreneur/investor and a passionate mental health advocate, especially in workplace wellbeing. She started WorkWell Leaders Workgroup in May 2018 to bring together top leaders (CXOs, Heads of HR/CSR/D&I) of top employers in Singapore (both public and private) to share, discuss and co-create inclusive practices to promote workplace wellbeing. Anthea is also the founder of Hush TeaBar, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar and a social movement that aims to bring silence, self care and social inclusion into every workplace, every community — with a cup of tea. The Hush Experience is completely led by lovingly-trained Deaf facilitators, supported by a team of Persons with Mental Health Issues (PMHIs).

Follow Anthea Ong on her public page at www.facebook.com/antheaonglaytheng

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