MP Louis Ng’s speech during the debates on MSE’s Budget
Mr Chairman, I beg to move, “That the total sum to be allocated forHead L of the Estimates be reduced by $100”.
MSE’s portfolio is a broad but incredibly crucial one. As long as we breathe, eat, and live in Singapore, MSE’s policies touch all our lives. And we have an important goal of ensuring sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.
Last month, My GPC colleagues and I delivered the first ever parliamentary motion on climate change. This House declared climate change a global emergency. We committed to deepening and accelerating efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change and to embrace sustainability in our development.
I am heartened that we are making progress and have launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030. The goals and efforts in the Green Plan are ambitious, but I hope that the Green Plan will set a minimum standard that we will far exceed. The earth needs us to achieve, and go beyond the Green Plan.
The Green Plan should be a living document that we can continuously review and update from now until 2030. We can afford to move the baseline upwards and expect higher standards of our sustainability performance. We cannot afford to rest on our laurels once we meet the existing targets. Ultimately, we need to remember that the goal is not to check off every target in the Green Plan.
The goal is to slow down, stop and reverse, if possible, earth path towards widespread and irreversible climate collapse. I hope our conversations about the Green Plan over the next decade would both be about how we can meet the targets and what higher targets we will be setting for ourselves.
For this COS, my GPC colleagues, fellow MPs, and I will be asking lots of questions and making numerous suggestions for sustainability and MSE’s other portfolios. Let me get the ball rolling.
Will MSE work with industry and civil society to strengthen the Green Plan?
Will MSE shore up climate resilience by enhancing coastal protection and boosting flood resilience?
Will MSE strengthen the resilience of our food supply and ensure food safety?
Will MSE strengthen Singapore’s water security by greening our water treatment processes and increasing water efficiency?
Will MSE work towards a zero waste nation by closing the e-waste, packaging waste and food waste loop?
Will MSE build a clean and endearing home for all by raising public health standards, transforming our environmental services industry and sustaining the hawker industry?
There are lots more questions and Sir, I look forward to a robust debate.
Net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
We are in a race to the bottom for climate change. Race to the bottom of the amount of carbon emitted. Several cities such as Hong Kong, Monaco, Delhi have pledged to work towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea, together with more than 110 other countries, have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050.
Of course, commitment must be back by ambitious action and concrete plans. But setting a goal is valuable in itself.
First, it sends a clear signal to its industries, citizens, and civil society on the direction and speed of policy change. The signal will have a trickle down effect in influencing decisions in boardrooms and individual action.
Second, it provides a yardstick for measuring if we are taking bold enough actions to achieve our declared goals.
Will Singapore also pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and what are our plans to achieve this goal?
The Government introduced the Public Service Taking The Lead in Environmental Sustainability (PSTLES) initiative back in 2006.
During COS last year, PMO announced that it intends to raise its ambitions for the next phase of the initiative. Can the Ministry share some of its plans and targets?
Under current initiative, each Ministry is required to appoint a Sustainability Manager to set sustainability targets for FY2020 and to develop a resource management plan to meet its targets.
In addition to the reporting in the Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review, will the Government consider requiring Sustainability Managers to publicly report annually how well their Ministries have fared in achieving targets set for their Ministries?
Also, many countries have emphasised the importance of a green recovery, even as the world continues to reel from the COVID-19. What are the Public Service’s own plans on environmental sustainability and how does it intend to decarbonise?
Watch the speech here.