UN should lead research into new energy sources

Singapore has a new programme on sustainable development ("Singapore announces new programme on sustainable development at United Nations"; ST Online, Sept 28) and I hope it includes announcing our contribution in dollar terms to the United Nations Green Climate Fund come December in Paris.

The answer to many of the challenges facing mankind lies in having clean and green energy to generate potable water cheaply and in abundance through desalination, a field in which Singapore has made tremendous progress.

Cheap and clean energy and the abundant supply of unlimited potable water will transform the world completely.

I hope Singapore states strongly that the UN should unite all countries by taking the lead, as not many countries can conduct the search for new sources of energy on their own due to a lack of financial resources and technological expertise.

It is a huge task.

Furthermore, we can expect that the oil industry will protect its vested financial interests at all costs. It will fight back against any attempt to make fossil fuels obsolete.

The UN should lead by mobilising an international, united and centralised effort with the Green Climate Fund to research into new energy sources that could address the need for potable water and clean energy to combat global warming and climate change.

A UN-led force to conduct such research is more important than the body's many other relief missions.

The UN should not be short-sighted when it comes to energy research for the sake of all mankind.

The critical time has come for all countries to rise above their own financial interests which cloud their ability to see the bigger picture.

Tan Kok Tim