6 PAP MPs file motion to urge S'pore govt to accelerate efforts to fight climate change

10 recommendations.

Zhangxin Zheng | January 29, 2021, 05:38 PM

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Several Members of Parliament (MPs) from the People's Action Party (PAP) have filed a Parliamentary motion to urge more action when it comes to mitigating and adapting to the impact of climate change.

These MPs are part of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Sustainability and the Environment. They include Louis Ng, Poh Li San, Cheryl Chan, Gan Thiam Poh, Hany Soh and Don Wee.

A private member's motion has been filed for the upcoming Parliamentary sitting on Feb. 1.

The motion states:

“That this House calls on the Government, in partnership with the private sector and the people of Singapore, to deepen and accelerate efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and to embrace sustainability in the development of Singapore.”

MP Hany Soh also told media that the motion can be summed up with the acronym "ABC":

"A" stands for accelerating our efforts in tackling climate change as people are already feeling the impact in their daily lives.

"B" stands for bolder movements and initiatives.

Lastly, "C" stands for collaboration among the public sector, private sector, and the people.

To raise 10 recommendations made by PAP's youth wing

The motion will include recommendations that the PAP's youth wing (YP) proposed in its position paper on sustainability issues.

Speaking to the media on Jan. 28, Ng said that these 10 recommendations resonate with both environmental activists and businesses.

Cynthia Mark, PAP YP’s sustainability representative, said that the team had several focus group discussions over the past year.

The YP recognises the need to find a suitable pathway to address climate anxiety, a constructive discourse to address this concern and to bring together perspectives of activists and businesses, Cynthia said.

The 10 recommendations focus on mitigating carbon emission in Singapore, increasing public awareness on climate change as well as data sharing.

Here's a summary of the 10 recommendations:

  1. To raise carbon tax post-Covid at an appropriate time and review the tax every five years
  2. To professionalise the carbon accounting and reporting industry by setting accounting standards, providing certification and training local talents
  3. To incorporate sustainability into the Industry Transformation Map scheme and create a Sustainability sector under this scheme
  4. To set higher and expanded standards on procurement in the public sector
  5. To support the adoption of electric vehicles by incentivising private developers to make charging points accessible and available at their buildings
  6. To increase the Green Mark standards on carbon efficiency. Currently, buildings that perform well under the Green Mark Scheme are still "extremely concrete intensive".
  7. To expand climate education in school curriculum and enhance the amount of resources given to experiential activities related to climate change
  8. To add Climate Defence into Total Defence pillars to update national priorities
  9. To introduce mechanisms to help key industrial sectors share technical data on energy efficiency and clean energy. Such data-sharing frameworks have been implemented in the Netherland's fintech industry and in Europe's logistics industry.
  10. To increase public access to emission data of top-emitting private companies and public entities. This will enforce accountability on organisations and empower public to make decisions on what companies to support.

However, environmental topics that PAP MPs will be raising in this Parliament sitting are not exclusive to these areas.

For example, several MPs such as Rachel Ong and Christopher de Souza will be speaking up for Dover forest, an issue more related to sustainable development and conservation, Ng shared.

Aim for fundamental changes with big multiplier effects

For the motion, Ng explained that the MPs will keep their focus on climate change issues to "aim for fundamental change with big multiplier effect" but "not the low-lying fruits".

Ng added that Singapore land is now a net carbon emitter; protecting forests is important but we also need to reduce our carbon footprint, he said.

“Climate change is an existential threat that we cannot ignore. The recommendations in the motion include considerations and input gathered from a series of public consultations with environmental groups, industry, academia, and Singaporeans. We hope to get the whole House to support this motion.”

Top image via SG Climate Rally/Facebook