Desmond Choo, Mayor of North East CDC
Good afternoon. I am very happy to be here for the North East CDC JOE
Day, which stands for “Just One Earth”. I understand that NECDC organises
this family carnival every year for pre-schoolers and their families, to spread
the message of how simple it can be to care for the environment.
Today, NECDC is also celebrating the finale of the North East ECO Kids programme.
About the North East Eco Kids Programme
& JOE Day
I understand the students
underwent a series of experiential, hands-on workshops to learn about the 3Rs -
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. They also learnt to keep Singapore clean and green. I
would like to challenge everyone here help pick up litter and throw it away, to
ensure that this place is litter-free after the event. Besides keeping our
homes clean, we also need to keep our environment clean.
We also want to thank the partners, Tzu Chi Foundation and POSB. They
have worked closely with the NECDC and the National Environmental Agency (NEA).
The North East ECO Kids
programme was started seven years ago, and has reached out to more than 2,000
pre-schoolers from 75 preschools. I also hear that more pre-schools and
organisations are interested to join this programme.
Well done to NECDC for organising
this programme. Let us all give them a big round of applause.
Just One Earth (JOE) Day
Today is also Earth Hour 2018, which makes today’s theme – “Natural Joe”
“Natural Joe” focuses on three messages. These
messages apply not just to the children, but the parents as well. The three
messages are: Food waste reduction, climate action, and anti-littering.
Food Waste Reduction
First, the amount of food waste generated in Singapore has increased by
about 40 per cent over the last 10 years. Every week, an average Singapore home
throws away 2.5kg of food waste. That is a lot of food, especially when many
people around the world are going hungry. I would like to encourage the
children to remind your parents to only order what you can eat, and not to
over-order, over-buy, or over-cook.
Second, we are vulnerable to the impact of climate change. In recent
years, Singapore has experienced intense rainfall and flash floods. At the
start of this year, we had experienced colder temperatures, while last year was
the hottest year on record, without El Nino.
These are evidence of climate change, which affects everyone. We need to
play our part to tackle climate change.
In order to encourage grassroots organisations, NGOs and interest groups
to organise more activities to raise awareness of climate change, I had
announced the Climate Action SG Grant two weeks ago. Organisations can apply to this grant from 1 April to the end of the year to
organise climate action initiatives. Each group will be eligible for up to $5,000 during this period for
their various projects, on a reimbursement basis.
I would like to challenge the parents here to form an interest group and
organise an activity for climate action. They can apply to NEA for the grant.
It would be wonderful if the children could work together with the parents to
organise such initiatives.
Another way to tackle climate change can be to buy energy efficient
efficient models of refrigerators account for about three quarter of total
sales in 2016. The Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS), which was introduced in 2008,
has helped consumers like you and me to choose more energy efficient appliances
such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, clothes dryers, televisions and
general purpose lamps. I would like to encourage the children here to ask their
parents to buy appliances with more ticks, which indicate they are more energy
NEA will be consulting the
industry and public on a proposal to expand the coverage of MELS to more lamps. The proposal will help
households select more efficient lamp types and further reduce their energy
consumption, which would lead to savings on the energy bill.
Third, we need to involve
everyone in the anti-littering effort. As I had mentioned, we need to keep not
just our homes, but the surroundings clean as well. In 2016, NEA issued more
than 31,000 fines for littering, nearly 20% more than in 2015. Parents and
children should remind each other not to litter.
I would like to say that NECDC
has done very well in organising environmental programmes. I encourage everyone
to participate in them, which helps to inculcate green practices as well as
values such as graciousness and care for the environment.
I would like to challenge
everyone to pledge your commitment for climate action at the pledge tree. You
can also go to our website to make the Climate Action pledge. To date, we have
garnered about 50,000 pledges.
Lastly, I would like to ask all the boys and girls to be eco-champions!
you, and have a wonderful day.