Tougher, quicker action needed and industries must play their part too

Smoke emitting from a factory in Tuas.
Smoke emitting from a factory in Tuas.PHOTO: ST FILE

I am pleased that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spent a substantial amount of time on climate change in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday.

The United Nations has highlighted the urgency to tackle the issue in its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last year. Clearly, more should be done beyond what was proposed in PM Lee's speech.

What he said about the 50-to 100-year plan seems to signal that this is a problem we can still postpone for another generation.

But the IPCC report said 12 years is all we have got. We need to adopt a tougher and quicker stance to alleviate the effects of climate change.

Other points not touched on but are equally important include excessive meat consumption, which has proven to be environmentally unviable, and the carbon footprint created by industries.

Individuals can do only a little, such as adopting eco-friendly habits. But if industries and businesses remain lax and continue with existing environmentally unfriendly practices, such as excessive use of plastics and churning out large quantities of greenhouse gases, then all talk on tackling climate change is futile.

Sean Lim Wei Xin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2019, with the headline 'Tougher, quicker action needed and industries must play their part too'. Print Edition | Subscribe