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TOPICS: Climate Change
Question by Miss Rahayu Mahzam: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water
Resources in light of the recent Singapore Climate Rally (a) what are the
Ministry's plans to engage the climate enthusiasts in novel ways to raise
awareness of high levels of overconsumption, waste reduction and our carbon
footprint; and (b) whether the Ministry will also consider leveraging on this
movement and lead the efforts in the region.
Answer by Minister:
coming forward to raise awareness of, and taking action against climate change,
is not a new development. More groups have come forward since Singapore
designated 2018 as our Year of Climate Action to rally businesses, households
and individuals to take collective action for a sustainable future. These
include community groups, grassroots organisations, corporations, schools and non-governmental
organisations (NGOs). In fact, over 800 climate action-related events were
initiated and organised by our partners during the year. We have also received
more than 341,000 climate action pledges from individuals, organisations and
Government is heartened by the latest ground-up efforts by youths to generate
greater public awareness of climate change. Climate change poses existential
challenges for Singapore, including rising sea levels, extreme weather, and
potential threats to our water and food supply. We need all Singaporeans to
come on board to address these issues collectively, and with urgency.
sustain the momentum for climate action, we designated 2019 as our Year Towards
Zero Waste, to encourage Singaporeans to treasure our resources
and make it a habit to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We are also nudging
businesses to adopt a circular economy approach, and engage in sustainable
production and consumption, so that we can reduce the amount of waste we
generate. This will in turn reduce the amount of carbon emissions.
In July this year, we also launched the inaugural
Climate Action Week, which we will be holding annually to sustain climate
action. The week began with our Partners for the Environment Forum which gathered
over 200 participants from the People, Private and Public (3P) sectors for
discussions on climate change, and waste reduction and circular economy
initiatives. This was followed by a series of ground-up activities and events
organised by our 3P partners, including businesses, NGOs and youths.
are important agents of change, and we have been actively reaching out to them
and the broader community to encourage environmental stewardship. Earlier this
year, MEWR worked with two youth-led environmental groups, Zero Waste SG and
LepakInSG, to co-organise and facilitate focus group discussions on our
inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan. The National Climate Change Secretariat also
held a public consultation exercise on how Singapore can be a low-carbon global
city state, which wrapped up end of last month.
forward, we want to partner Singaporeans to co-create and co-deliver solutions
to address our sustainability challenges. MEWR has convened our first Citizens'
Workgroup, where 48 Singaporeans of diverse backgrounds are working together to
look at how we can improve the way households in Singapore recycle. Next year,
we plan to convene a second Workgroup to look at the excessive consumption of
single-use plastics. We welcome youths and members of the public to join us in
co-creating practical solutions to make Singapore more sustainable.
broaden our outreach and engage key stakeholders, my Ministry has embarked on
various collaborations with partners. One example is the Climate Action SG
Alliance (CASA), which was set up in 2018 by a group of corporate and civil
society leaders. The Alliance has 20 members, and includes youth-led groups
such as Singapore Youth for Climate Action. CASA has initiated a series of
projects to galvanise businesses and public to take action for the environment.
Two members of the Alliance, Sembcorp and Eco-Business, just recently released
a new video to raise awareness of the contamination in our blue recycling bins,
and to educate the public on how to recycle right. Many of our partners have
also engaged the public on climate action through activities such as movie
screenings, dialogues and festivals. To encourage more ground up initiatives,
we have provided support for projects related to waste reduction and recycling
through our ‘Towards Zero Waste Grant’, which was announced at the start of the
year. We encourage individuals, interest groups, NGOs, grassroots organisations
and corporations to apply for the grant.
efforts to address climate change goes beyond our shores. We participate
actively and constructively in international negotiations at the annual
Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC). In July 2018, we convened the first ever Special ASEAN
Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (SAMCA). This October, we will also be
hosting the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
meetings for the first time. To help build our community’s understanding of key
issues in international environmental negotiations, we have facilitated the
participation of Singapore NGOs in the United Nations Environment Assembly in
2018 and 2019.
government’s joint efforts with our 3P partners have demonstrated that
Singapore can come together as a nation to address the challenges of climate
change. We must continue on this journey of sustainable development. By working
together to raise awareness and take collective action, we will ensure that
Singapore remains a vibrant and liveable city for our future generations.
Last updated: 07 Oct 2019
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