SINGAPORE: Singapore must do more to protect the environment as the threat of climate change becomes increasingly serious both locally and globally, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (Nov 3).
Speaking at the launch of Clean and Green Singapore Carnival at Wisma Geylang Serai, Mr Lee said Singapore must take steps to protect itself against the adverse effects of global warming.
“We must consider the far-reaching implications of climate change for our city, our economy, our people," said Mr Lee.
Singapore has already felt the effects of extreme weather, from recording the warmest year on record last year, to a cold spell where temperatures dropped to 21 degrees Celsius earlier in January.
In his speech, Mr Lee cited a recent United Nations report which warned that temperatures could increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels in the next 12 years.
"We must do our part to contribute to global efforts such as the Paris Agreement to slow down climate change and at the same time we must take timely and concrete steps to protect ourselves against the adverse effects of climate change."
Many countries in the region, including Singapore, are also vulnerable to rising sea levels due to long coastlines and low-lying areas.
Mr Lee said the authorities have raised low-lying roads near coastal areas at East Coast and Katong. He added that the upcoming Changi Airport Terminal 5 will be built on a higher platform than the existing terminals.
Aside from infrastructure and policies, PM Lee also pointed out that Singaporeans' mindsets and lifestyles need to change.
Taking public transport and using energy-saving electrical appliances, are just some of the ways Singaporeans can do their part.
PM Lee said he was “heartened” by the public response so far.
“More than 300,000 individuals, schools, NGOs and corporate organisations have pledged their commitment and organised a series of community programmes, which we can see in the Climate Action Showcase.
"In the public sector, all the ministries have taken the climate action pledge, and they will reduce their plastic, water and electricity consumption."
PM Lee kicked off the launch by planting the Harum Manis, an Indonesian variety of the mango tree whose flowers and seeds have medicinal uses.