Government grants available for green events from April 1

Children learning to make animal hats out of old newspapers at the Just-One-Earth Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on March 24, 2018.
Children learning to make animal hats out of old newspapers at the Just-One-Earth Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on March 24, 2018.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Interest groups, non-govermental and grassroots organisations planning on holding green events this year can apply from April 1 for a government grant to help defray costs.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor, who announced the Climate Action SG Grant earlier this month in her Committee of Supply debate speech, provided more details on it on Saturday (March 24).

Speaking at an eco-carnival for children at Our Tampines Hub, Dr Khor said that groups may apply for the grant through the National Environment Agency (NEA) until the end of the year. Each group will be eligible for up to $5,000 for projects on a reimbursement basis.

Singapore has designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action, a national initiative to raise awareness of climate change, and Dr Khor said the grant was aimed at encouraging more ground-up climate action initiatives.

She said the government could not tackle climate change alone. 

"We hope to see initiatives that help to rally the ground, to increase awareness about the need to take climate action" through simple daily efforts such as conserving resources, reducing wastage and using less water in showers, she said.

The NEA's Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme for household appliances, which requires household appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, clothes dryers, televisions and general purpose lamps to display a tick rating for energy efficiency may also be expanded, said Dr Khor.

The agency is proposing to expand the scope to include more lamp types such as T8 flourescent tubes and their LED counterparts, and will be conducting industry and public consultations, she said.

The scheme helps consumers to choose more energy efficient appliances, with a three-tick rated LED lamp using 40 per cent less energy than a compact flourescent lamp, said Dr Khor.

The Joe (Just-One-Earth) Day carnival, organised for the fourth year by the North East CDC, offered children and their parents hands-on activities, such as making self-watering planters using plastic bottles and old cloth, as a way of engaging them on environmental issues.

Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo, who is mayor of the North East District, said that getting children involved in such initiatives at a young age was critical.

"Our children will inherit this earth... they have the most vested interest. It is also amazing to see the power of our children (in) influencing the habits of their parents and grandparents," said Mr Choo at the event.

Housewife Gao Jing and her four children, aged between four and nine, were among those at the carnival.

"It's important for the kids to learn about how to recycle, instead of just buying things and throwing them away," said Ms Gao, 35.

The carnival was held ahead of tonight's Earth Hour, when Singapore's skyline will dim at 8.30pm as businesses across the island switch off their lights to raise awareness about plastic waste.