Workers' Party sets out stance on climate change, green issues

Workers' Party sets out stance on climate change, green issues

SINGAPORE: The Workers' Party on Tuesday (Oct 29) outlined its stance on climate change and environmental issues, highlighting the party's contributions in Parliament in a statement on their website.

Citing the first Singapore Climate Rally at Hong Lim Park last month, the party said its Members of Parliament (MPs) "note and agree with the many concerns" expressed at the rally about the "climate emergency facing our planet".

READ: More than 1,700 turn up at first Singapore Climate Rally

In its statement, the party set out its contributions in Parliament on climate change-related issues.

These ranged from matters to do with carbon emissions and the mitigation of climate change effects to the transparent sharing of climate change research.

"The Workers’ Party has spoken up about excessive carbon emissions and the grave danger this poses to humanity in our speeches in Parliament," said the statement. "In Parliament, WP MPs and NCMPs have raised concerns about climate change mitigation and adaptation."

READ: Singapore sets solar energy target for 2030 that would provide enough power for 350,000 homes

One of the suggestions put forward by the party was to look at climate change "holistically", said the party in its statement.

"Among the suggestions put forward was one to look at climate change holistically and going beyond the emissions intensity indicator that forms Singapore’s first Intended Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce our Emissions Intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and to stabilise our emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030," it said.

Other parliamentary statements highlighted by the party included questioning and calls for action over enhancing drainage capacity and technology to withstand possible higher levels of rainfall in future, urban planning measures to reduce the impact of the Urban Heat Island effect and maintaining terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity.

READ: Why Singapore is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world

Workers' Party MPs have also touched on topics including strengthening local farming to guard against the threat of unpredictable overseas weather patterns affecting imported food supplies, the adoption of research and development to fight vector-borne diseases and the sharing of climate change research produced by the Government, said the statement.

DATA SHARING, CALL FOR DIALOGUE

In addition, the party has asked the Government to consider setting a goal for the share of renewables' contribution to total energy production in the longer term and to publish data on the emissions trends of larger emitters, said the statement.

This would allow for greater transparency and let the public make comparisons against global norms, said the party.

READ: 52.5m tonnes of greenhouse gases generated by Singapore in 2017: MTI

It has also called for stronger measures to promote electric vehicles and for the Government to specify a date for banning all fossil-fuel vehicles, similar to the UK and France.

Potential food supply disruptions due to climate change are also a concern, said the statement, and Workers Party NCMPs have raised concerns regarding the mitigation of rising food prices and the need to address household food insecurity.

The party also questioned the Government last year on protecting coastal ecosystems vulnerable to sea-level rise, ocean acidification and human stressors such as land reclamation, said the statement.

"Beyond hard-engineering solutions, the WP also recognises the importance of soft-engineering solutions such as the rehabilitation of coastal environments, and the ecosystem services provided by Singapore’s coral reefs, mangroves, and mudflats," it said.

READ: Climate research centre to study how sea level rise could impact Singapore

The party had also suggested mandatory environmental impact assessments be done for all development projects affecting green areas to accompany the land use masterplan and to be made permanently accessible to the public, it added.

"We have also called for urban planning to consciously take into account the importance of preserving green spaces, so as to mitigate the urban heat island effect, among other reasons," it said.

The party called for dialogue with Singaporeans on the issue.

"The Workers’ Party actively welcomes dialogue with all Singaporeans with a view to leaving a sustainable Singapore for future generations of Singaporeans," it said.


Source: CNA/nc(hm)

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