More than 9 in 10 in Singapore concerned by climate change; most agree to use of taxes to fight impact: Mediacorp survey
SINGAPORE: More than 9 in 10 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PR) said they are concerned by climate change and will do their part to minimise its impact, findings from a Mediacorp survey showed on Wednesday (Aug 7).
According to the findings, 96 per cent of respondents also either “agree” or “strongly agree” that the Government must do more to minimise the impact of climate change.
About 1,000 individuals aged 18 and older took part in the self-administered online survey aimed at understanding public perception of climate change in Singapore and the Government’s actions towards it.
The survey, conducted between Jul 20 and 24, comes after Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said that Singapore has a “pressing priority” to tackle climate change and warned that “time is running out”.
According to a January 2019 Ecosperity Conversations report by Temasek, Singapore is “particularly vulnerable” to the negative impact of climate change and rising sea level.
“The warning is loud and unmistakable: We must act now or we may well face the ultimate threat to human survival ... the end of ‘life as usual’,” Mr Masagos said.
He also announced that Singapore will up set up a new office to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities in climate science, and spend an additional S$400 million to upgrade and maintain drains over the next two years.
The country has also launched its first seed bank to protect local and regional plant diversity against threats like climate change.
When it comes to funding efforts to tackle climate change, just over half (53 per cent) of the survey respondents indicated that efforts to tackle the issue should be funded by current or future taxes.
Forty-seven per cent of respondents said the Government should fund these efforts by dipping into the national reserves.
YOUNGER PEOPLE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?
The survey did not find any significant differences in climate change perceptions across age, gender, ethnicity, education level or monthly personal income.
For example, in response to the statement “I am concerned about the impact of climate change on Singapore”, 91 per cent of the 112 respondents making up the youngest age group (18 to 24) said they “agree” or “strongly agree”.
Ninety-five per cent of the 170 respondents making up the oldest age group (above 65) gave a similar response.
Eighty-eight per cent of respondents in the youngest age group agreed with “I will do my part to minimise the impact of climate change”, compared to 94 per cent of the oldest age group.
Meanwhile, the survey also found that respondents aged 65 and older, as well as those without a monthly personal income, are less likely to suggest that future generations be taxed to fund efforts against climate change. Instead, they pointed to the use of national reserves.