Youth have a lot to offer in climate change fight

The report on March 22 ("Call for younger generation to take action on climate change"; ST Online) has led me to think about the many instances young people have been urged to lead low-carbon lifestyles and speak out on climate change.

However, these are not the only ways they can take action on climate change.

One important way they can act is through innovation.

There have already been many advances in technology and many innovations that have provided low-carbon alternatives, in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Examples of some innovative approaches are the installation of solar panels on the roofs of buildings in Singapore, optimised for Singapore's tropical climate, and the floating photovoltaic pilot project on our reservoirs ("PUB studying potential of solar panels at more reservoirs"; Nov 24, 2015).

Both these efforts will provide us with clean energy.

Other examples include advances in biofuels, which provide clean fuel, especially for vehicles. These will allow us to meet global energy demand while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

However, the current low-carbon alternatives will not be enough to significantly slow down climate change or reach the goals of holding global warming to well below 2 deg C and limiting the warming to 1.5 deg C ("Historic deal may signal end of fossil fuel era"; Dec 14, 2015).

There will be a need for constant innovation and advances in technology in order to reach the desired goals.

This is where the younger generation can come in.

Young people have many fresh ideas and will be able to lead in new inventions and innovations, and improve current technologies.

With new inventions, we will have more alternative fuels to reduce our carbon footprint and stop global warming.

New technologies could also possibly be invented to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Also, current technologies such as biofuels could be improved so that they become more sustainable and have less adverse impact on areas such as the natural environment and land use.

Perlyn Chew Jie Ying (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2016, with the headline 'Youth have a lot to offer in climate change fight'. Print Edition | Subscribe