28 June 2022

On 9 June 2022, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment issued a press release announcing Singapore’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment (“KA”) to the Montreal Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support its net zero emissions ambition.

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the use of ozone-depleting substances. Singapore has been a Party to the Montreal Protocol since 1989.

The KA to the Montreal Protocol was introduced to reduce the global consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (“HFCs”). HFCs are substitutes for ozone-depleting substances and are potent greenhouse gases that contribute significantly to global warming. HFCs are commonly used as refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning (“RAC”) equipment.

The following are some of the measures Singapore has taken or will take to meet its KA obligations.

Phase down HFC consumption by 80% over next two decades

Singapore will phase down the consumption of HFCs by 80% over the next two decades to meet the obligations of the KA. Under the KA, parties are obliged
to progressively reduce HFC consumption in accordance with the following phase-down schedule:

  • From 2024: Freeze at baseline (this baseline is defined as the average HFC consumption over 2020-2022 + 65% hydrochlorofluorocarbon baseline)
  • From 2029: 90% of baseline
  • From 2035: 70% of baseline
  • From 2040: 50% of baseline
  • From 2045: 20% of baseline

Upcoming regulations

Regulations to mitigate HFC emissions will come into effect on 1 October 2022 under the Environmental Protection and Management Act 1999. These regulations aim to shift the market towards more climate-friendly RAC technologies and equipment, require the proper handling of refrigerants during servicing works, and mandate the collection and proper treatment of spent refrigerants from decommissioned RAC equipment.

Other measures

The National Environment Agency (“NEA”) has introduced measures to support the industry to shift towards more climate-friendly alternatives. Since 1 January 2019, HFCs imported into Singapore have been subjected to licensing controls. In 2020, the Low-GWP Refrigerants Chillers grant was introduced to support companies that want to make an early switch to climate-friendly water-cooled chillers. More information is available from the NEA Reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions from the use of refrigerants in RAC sector webpage.