Singapore's twin imperatives for climate action

Step up climatic defences, and replace fossil fuels with renewable energy

The continued rise in carbon emissions worldwide, which hit 415 parts per million (ppm) in May, is boosting global temperatures alarmingly. Singapore's warmest days this year exceeded 34 deg C, compared with a 27 deg C average in the 1960s. The top concern at global fora like the recent Group of Seven meeting should have been runaway climate change. And countries, including Singapore, must switch rapidly from polluting fossil fuels to renewable energy, while building climate defences.

But as scientific evidence mounts on the urgency to slow global warming, CO2 emissions, the main source of man-made global warming, continues to rise in China, the United States and India, the three biggest emitters. Brazil, under President Jair Bolsonaro, is allowing unprecedented deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, which holds 20 per cent of the world's source of oxygen. At the current rate, global carbon emissions would exceed the catastrophic threshold of 450 ppm in just 15 years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore's twin imperatives for climate action'. Print Edition | Subscribe