Reduce use of fossil fuels, protect forests & capture CO₂ from atmosphere says NMP Koh Lian Pin in maiden speech

Through partnerships between government, corporates and people.

Zhangxin Zheng | February 01, 2021, 09:24 PM

Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Koh Lian Pin urged Singapore to set more ambitious and science-based targets in our efforts to tackle climate change issues in Parliament on Feb. 1.

Prioritise tackling climate change

In his maiden speech, Koh who is the Director of the Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions at the National University of Singapore said that Singapore is already experiencing the effects of climate change and could face serious consequences in the long run.

The rapid increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has contributed to climate change.

Koh attributed the increase in greenhouse gases to the use of fossil fuels to meet energy consumption and deforestation to meet various land uses.

While Singapore has various national priorities, Koh urged the government to weigh them against the priority of tackling the existential threat of climate change.

Time is running out. Koh mentioned that the world may have only three decades or less to reduce our emissions to net-zero to avoid potentially irreversible climate change impacts, according to scientists on the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"Mitigation is at least as important as adaptation," Koh said and that means tackling the root cause of climate change.

Setting more ambitious and science-based targets

Koh said that Singapore can set more ambitious, science-based targets in terms of climate change mitigation to achieve three outcomes:

  1. Reduce emissions from the use of fossil fuels, by transiting to renewable sources of energy, increasing energy efficiency, and cutting down on waste
  2. Protect our remaining forests and avoid further deforestation
  3. Start capturing and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

To achieve these outcomes, Singapore has to invest in research and development to implement both human-engineered and nature-based solutions.

Koh also said that it will require more active partnerships between the government and people, as well as, between government and corporates through the Emerging Stronger Taskforce, of which he is a member.

At the end of his speech, Koh added that youths today will be even prouder of a Singapore that demonstrates global leadership in these causes that they care deeply about such as climate change.

"Of course, climate change is a problem much bigger than Singapore. But tackling this problem is also an opportunity for us to be part of something much bigger than ourselves. And be proud of it."

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