GE2020: Reform Party launches green manifesto calling for 'as close as possible' net zero emissions by 2050

GE2020: Reform Party launches green manifesto calling for 'as close as possible' net zero emissions by 2050

Reform Party walkabout (3)
A Reform Party member hands out leaflets during a walkabout in Ang Mo Kio, Jun 27, 2020. (Photo: Christy Yip)

SINGAPORE: The Reform Party on Thursday (Jul 2) launched a green manifesto calling for Singapore to reduce its absolute emissions to an “ambitious target” of 40 per cent by 2030 and “as close as possible net zero” by 2050.

It proposed a Response to Climate Change Act, which will be a legal framework to coordinate government actions to reach net zero emissions within 30 years.

“The government of Singapore has signed up to the Paris Agreement but like most such agreements it signs up to, it pays only lip service to the targets. Singapore’s current targets are woefully inadequate,” said the Reform Party in its manifesto.

“Being a signatory is not sufficient.”

READ: GE2020: Reform Party launches manifesto focusing on building 'fairer' society for Singaporeans

According to the National Climate Change Secretariat’s website, Singapore contributes about 0.11 per cent of global emissions. A 2019 report by the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources noted that Singapore generated more than 52,000 kilo tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases in 2017.

The Response to Climate Change Act will coordinate a mandate of “ambitious emission targets” across ministries, agencies and government-linked corporations, so that they are “put to a higher standard” and “lead the way in adopting green measures”, said the Reform Party.

Reform Party Andy Zhu
Reform Party's Andy Zhu interacts with a resident during a walkabout in Ang Mo Kio, Jun 27, 2020. (Photo: Christy Yip)

Town councils and residents’ associations will have to adopt green targets, and the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and the National Climate Change Secretariat will be given extra powers to take action.

The party also proposed pumping in more public funds to “support the mandate” and fund research to reach the 2050 target, and create training and employment for those retrenched due to the climate change measures.

Reform Party’s green manifesto was launched separately from its first manifesto focusing on building a “better and fairer society for Singaporeans”. The slogan for its green manifesto is “Build back Better, Fairer … and Greener”.

READ: GE2020: PAP team led by PM Lee sees challenge from Reform Party in Ang Mo Kio GRC

READ: GE2020: PAP’s Melvin Yong up against Reform Party’s Kumar Appavoo in Radin Mas SMC

Other proposals in the green manifesto include:

  • Reduce the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) to 5 per cent for car owners who exchange their petrol or diesel engine vehicle for an electric vehicle. Those who buy an electric vehicle without exchange a petrol or diesel engine vehicle should only pay 10 per cent COE;
  • Give all Singapore school children up to 16 years old, Singaporeans above 65 years old and those with special needs and their carers passes for free travel by bus;
  • A household green grant for Housing and Development Board (HDB) residents who wish to adopt greener air-conditioning models and maintain existing ones;
  • Tax breaks, expert training and guidance to encourage adapting and retrofitting existing buildings instead of tearing them down;
  • Expand point-to-point electric car share clubs and number of charge stations;
  • Introduce community composing sites;
  • The sovereign wealth funds, Temasek and GIC make public the companies they invest in each year and stop investing in fossil fuels and “other damaging industries”. They should also change their portfolio to a majority investment in the low carbon industry by 2025.

The Reform Party on Tuesday filed nomination papers to run in Ang Mo Kio GRC and Radin Mas SMC. 

Reform Party Kumar Appavoo, Bendemeer Primary School, June 30, 2020. (1)
Reform Party’s Kumar Appavoo at Bendemeer Primary School, the party's candidate for Radin Mas SMC. The field oil and gas company director also contested Radin Mas in 2015. (Photo: Marcus Ramos)

The Ang Mo Kio team comprises secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, chairman Andy Zhu, Mr Charles Yeo, Madam Noraini Yunus and Mr Soh Guan Soon. They will challenge the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

Mr Kumar Appavoo will go up against PAP’s Melvin Yong in Radin Mas SMC. Mr Yong is also National Trades Union Congress’ assistant secretary-general.

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Source: CNA/cc(cy)

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