Singapore's Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, reiterated plans to raise the emissions standards for new diesel vehicles to the more stringent Euro V from the beginning of next year, as part of the Government's efforts to maintain clean city air and build a quality living environment in Singapore.
Euro V measure part of plan to reduce PM2.5
The measure was first announced in August 2012, along with other measures which include requiring Euro IV emission standards for new petrol vehicles by 1 April 2014. Dr Balakrishnan reiterated the Euro V measure during a Parliamentary session on 12 March 2013.
Dr Balakrishnan warned of the dangers of PM2.5 -- fine particulates 2.5 micrometres in diameter or less. "The paradox here is in fact, it is the stuff that you do not see that is more dangerous, because PM2.5 is inhaled deeply into the lungs embedded in those tissues, and often never leaves our bodies," Dr Balakrishnan said.
The Minister recalled that last August, the Government announced that Singapore would adopt air quality targets for 2020 in line with the more stringent WHO air quality guidelines, and said that Singapore has yet to reach those targets. He underscored the importance of further action and improvement of standards.
The Minister indicated that in Singapore, vehicles account for 57% of all PM2.5 emissions. Moreover, the number of Euro V-compliant diesel vehicles on the roads today is a very small figure of 3,400, yet the number of old diesel commercial vehicles of pre-Euro or pre-Euro I emissions standards stands at 38,000.
Singapore has progressively tightened standards for diesel vehicles for the past six years, and the Government will impose Euro V standards for all new diesel vehicles beginning from 1 January 2014. Dr Balakrishnan also pointed out that his Ministry, along with the Ministry of Transport, will enact an Early Turnover Scheme to provide an incentive for owners of old commercial diesel vehicles to retire them early and begin using Euro V-compliant vehicles instead.
The Minister also highlighted a measure, beginning on 1 October 2014, to raise emissions standards for new motorcycles to Euro III, which will emit less than one-fifth of pollutants compared to the current fleet.
Report: Tighter emission standards for diesel vehicles, motorcycles [Today, 13 Mar 2013]
News: Parliament Q & A -- Speech by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Committee of Supply Debate (Part 1) [Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, 12 Mar 2013]
News Release: Singapore To Adopt Higher Air Quality Targets [National Environment Agency and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, 23 Aug 2012]