A/P Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim
COS Cut for MEWR
On 30th of January this year, while I was having a Meeting in Nee Soon, I heard unusual loud sounds of thunder.
This was accompanied by a heavy downpour. Shortly after that, I started to receive whatapps messages from my Grassroots leaders that quite a number of trees have fallen, few fell onto vehicles while few others blocked road access. I went out to take a look at the situation. I saw fallen trees and lamp posts, roads being blocked, slow traffic, panels of covered linkway made way. There were also many residents who had gone out to take a look at the situation. In the midst of the chaos, I saw a touching Nee Soon “kampong spirit”. Residents coming out to help clear the trees and looking out if anyone got injured. I went around to look at the situation and started to engage the agencies and residents. I saw worried faces
among my residents.
A few mentioned that they have never experienced such an incident before, in terms of the extent of the damages. One Town Council staff shared with me that he had never witnessed such damages in his more than 30 years work in estate maintenance. Others mentioned that Singapore climate has changed, accompanied with a worried expression. I took the opportunity to tell them that all of them, including me can play a part in mitigating the impact of climate change.
I am pleased to note that 2018 has been declared as the year of climate action for Singapore. Can the Minister share with the House on the climate action goals that the Ministry is pursuing for 2018 and beyond.
Sir, climate action requires collaborative effort of the Public, People and Private Sectors. What role can businesses and the general public play in Singapore’s climate action plan? What is Singapore doing on the Regional and Global front to contribute to climate action on a larger scale?
Minister launched the Climate Action Pledge recently. I have taken my Climate Action Pledge. May I know how many people have taken the pledge thus far?
Prof Faishal asked what Singapore is doing on the regional and global front for climate action. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has identified the fight against climate change as one of the top priorities for the UN and for the international community. Singapore strongly supports this.
In July, I will lead a delegation to the UN, where Singapore will undertake our first Voluntary National Review of the Sustainable Development Goals.
We will use our ASEAN Chairmanship to galvanise support for climate action. Singapore will convene a Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action on 10 July 2018, and a back-to-back expanded meeting with ASEAN and Ministers from China, Japan, Korea and the UNFCCC COP President and President-designate Fiji and Poland. These will take place in conjunction with the Singapore International Water Week – CleanEnviro Summit Singapore – World Cities Summit joint event. We will share experiences and reaffirm the region’s commitment to climate action and the Paris Agreement.
We will continue to plug ourselves into the global movement on climate change, and work with partners to shape the international agenda. As the saying goes, “If we are not at the table, we will be on the menu”. To get a seat at the table, we must be credible. This means that Singapore must fulfil our international obligations and show leadership on climate action. Already we’ve been noticed. Christiana Figueres, the former Executive of UNFCCC said in an article published locally in Singapore in BT: “Fortunately, Singapore is attuned to this urgent turning point. It’s “Year of Climate Action”, backed by concrete steps in the domestic policy sphere, is the kind of leadership the region needs.”
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim asked what role businesses and the public can play in climate action. My Ministry will intensify engagement to galvanise action amongst NGOs, businesses, communities, households and individuals.