SDP launches policy paper on climate change

The Singapore Democratic Party's 39-page policy paper set out its views on climate change, and outlined eight areas where climate change policy can be further developed.
The Singapore Democratic Party's 39-page policy paper set out its views on climate change, and outlined eight areas where climate change policy can be further developed.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) yesterday launched its policy paper on climate change, with party chairman Paul Tambyah saying it would be an issue raised in the upcoming general election, which must be held by April next year.

The 39-page paper set out the political party's views on climate change and outlined eight areas where climate change policy can be further developed.

These areas include waste reduction, greater enforcement of Singapore's anti-haze law which aims to punish firms responsible for causing unhealthy levels of pollution here, and the construction of green buildings.

Some of the SDP's policy proposals are in line with current government measures aimed at reducing emissions - such as scaling up the deployment of renewable energy here. But the party said the paper called for such strategies to be scaled up more quickly and with more ambitious targets.

On renewable energy, for instance, the SDP said that while Singapore may be constrained in terms of wind energy or hydropower, it could consider tapping these sources in neighbouring countries.

The idea behind a regional grid had also been raised last year by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing during the Singapore International Energy Week.

Another recommendation by the SDP was the boosting of infrastructure to promote the use of electric vehicles in Singapore. This, it said, could include the installation of more electric vehicle charging points here and reducing the road tax quantum for electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles use those points which draw electricity from the national grid, with that electricity generated by the burning of natural gas. This is considered to be still cleaner than the combustion of petrol in cars.

The party also highlighted population size in its climate policy proposal, saying the ever-growing population numbers have led to forests in Singapore being cleared for infrastructure and homes.

 
 

Ms Nor Lastrina Hamid, a member of the Singapore Youth for Climate Action, was consulted by the SDP on the policy proposals. She said it was heartening to see climate policies being a focus for the party. "It shows that the party is aware of the climate crisis and wants its voters to be aware of these issues too," said Ms Lastrina.

"The fact that it proposed alternative pathways to reducing emissions is a good reminder that there are many low-carbon pathways. Whether or not they are feasible is another issue.

"But at least we are shown there are various pathways, and that it is the responsibility of the various political parties and key stakeholders to show us what's possible."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 09, 2020, with the headline 'SDP launches policy paper on climate change'. Print Edition | Subscribe