US withdrawal from Paris Agreement 'a great pity': Vivian Balakrishnan

US withdrawal from Paris Agreement 'a great pity': Vivian Balakrishnan

Vivan Balakrishnan at paris agreement
Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan (left) with China's Xie Zhenhua and US's Todd Stern after the signing of the Paris Agreement. (Photo: Vivian Balakrishnan/Facebook)

SINGAPORE: America's withdrawal from the Paris climate deal is "a great pity", Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said on Friday (Jun 2).

"A great pity. China and the USA worked so well to help achieve global consensus on climate change - a real and present danger for our collective future," wrote Dr Balakrishnan in a Facebook post.

Posting a photo of himself posing with Chinese envoy Xie Zhenhua and US envoy Todd Stern on the night the Paris Agreement was settled, he wrote that the participants had been "exhausted, but happy and proud" on the night.

Singapore reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement on Friday and its pledge to reduce emissions intensity and to stabilise emissions.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced America's withdrawal from the Paris climate deal, saying that the United States would abandon the current deal but was open to a new one.

The Paris Agreement commits signatories to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Signatories vowed to keep the global rise in temperatures to well below 2°C from pre-industrial times and to "pursue efforts" to hold the increase under 1.5°C.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli also expressed his disappointment at Washington's withdrawal from the pact.

"Nonetheless, I am heartened that many world leaders, as well as leaders of the business community have come out to express their continued commitment to the Paris pledge," he said in a Facebook post.

He added that Singapore also recognises it has to play a part in mitigating climate change.

"Singapore is no exception. Whilst we are a small nation, we recognise that we have a key role to play in mitigating climate change, and will continue in our efforts to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint."

Everyone can do more to make lifestyle changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Masagos said: "Small steps like using less plastic bags, reducing food waste and conserving water goes a long way".

Source: CNA/nc

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