Ideas from conversations with public on Green Plan to be pursued

S'poreans' views will be assessed with an eye on sparking meaningful climate action: Grace Fu

An MRT train travelling along Tampines Eco Green Park. Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said Singapore Green Plan 2030 demonstrates the Government's commitment to ensure Singapore remains a green and liveable home for many gen
An MRT train travelling along Tampines Eco Green Park. Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said Singapore Green Plan 2030 demonstrates the Government's commitment to ensure Singapore remains a green and liveable home for many generations to come.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Ideas that arise from conversations with the public around the Singapore Green Plan 2030 will be assessed and pursued, with an eye on ultimately sparking meaningful climate action, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu yesterday.

She was speaking at the first of a series of planned engagements seeking Singaporeans' views and ideas on the Green Plan, which was launched in February to chart a more sustainable path forward for the Republic.

The plan sets out targets like having more energy-efficient buildings and improving resilience to the impact of climate change, such as by boosting local food production.

Yesterday's session was held on Zoom and attended by over 60 people, half of them members of the public and the rest representatives from the public and private sectors.

Participants discussed the considerations of the Green Plan and impact on their daily lives and how they could play a part in working towards a sustainable Singapore.

Ms Fu said in her opening remarks it was clear that Singaporeans cared about the environment, noting that when the plan was launched, it generated discussions around priorities and trade-offs, and several suggestions submitted via its official website.

"We will collate these suggestions, group them by topics, find platforms to have them discussed and evaluated," she said.

The Green Plan, she added, demonstrates the Government's commitment to ensure Singapore remains a green and liveable home for many generations to come.

"The success of this green transition will depend on whether we are able to work collectively as a nation to co-create solutions and tackle climate change together. That is why we are launching the Green Plan conversations."

She said previous efforts to engage and partner the public have shown results, such as citizens' workgroups formed to work on issues such as improving household recycling, increasing demand for local produce and reducing the excessive consumption of disposables.

"Each one of them has resulted in solutions that are co-created and co-delivered," she said.

Ms Fu noted how the Government had worked with Tampines residents to pilot "Eco Boards" that give figures of utilities consumption and resulting carbon emissions in real time.

She said that in the coming months, the other ministries backing the Green Plan - education, national development, trade and industry, and transport - will organise more conversations.

Government feedback unit Reach will also start holding dialogues in Mandarin and explore having future sessions in other languages.

The Government will continue to encourage Singaporeans to take action through citizens' workgroups and other private-public partnership platforms such as its Alliances for Action.

Those who require funding support may consider applying for the likes of the $50 million SG Eco Fund set up to aid sustainability efforts, said Ms Fu, adding that the first batch of successful applicants will be announced next month.

The Singapore Institute of Architects' sustainability chairman Tan Szue Hann, who attended the conversation yesterday, said the session gave participants a sense of the broader policy considerations while providing organisers with a sense of the ground sentiments.

The World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore's education and outreach head Chitra Venkatesh said she hopes to see deliberate, long-term, impact-driven and whole-of-nation initiatives - that would not only bring about a reduction in emissions, but also a change in mindset and a boost to Singaporeans' social well-being.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 25, 2021, with the headline 'Ideas from conversations with public on Green Plan to be pursued'. Subscribe