MPs respond to climate rallygoers' ideas

They take to social media to commend efforts, share initiatives, reiterate their will to do more

Participants carrying posters and placards to show their support for more action to be taken on climate change, at the Singapore Climate Rally in Hong Lim Park on Sept 21, 2019. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Less than a month after the first Singapore Climate Rally was held here, MPs took to social media yesterday to reiterate their will to make sure more is done for the cause.

MPs Louis Ng and Desmond Lee, who were both at the rally held at Hong Lim Park on Sept 21, commended the organisers' efforts in their Facebook posts and described some initiatives that have been implemented in Singapore.

In response to the global youth climate movement kick-started by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, attendees at the Singapore Climate Rally wrote suggestions for solving the climate crisis on postcards which organisers later mailed to the Government.

Some 2,000 people had attended the event.

Titled Let's Fight Climate Change, Mr Ng's Facebook post read: "The energy that these young organisers have and the bold vision they chase is something which is commendable and also something which my fellow MPs and I have been working toward."

He attached a reply on behalf of all People's Action Party MPs to the postcards in his post, which cited various initiatives that have been launched islandwide to raise awareness of the climate crisis and reduce Singapore's carbon footprint.

Among the initiatives are using carpark rooftops for farming, and moving away from providing bottled water at community events and meetings.

He added that food-waste recycling machines have also been rolled out at places such as Our Tampines Hub and Ci Yuan Hawker Centre, and that Telegram and WhatsApp groups have been created to help redistribute food to prevent wastage.

Mr Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, said in his post that the postcards reflected a heartfelt concern for "an existential issue".

"Can we, and must we do more? Yes," he wrote, adding that he looked forward to working with industry and community leaders to make a change.

Noting that Singapore already generates about 95 per cent of its electricity from natural gas - the most energy-efficient among all fossil fuels - Mr Lee said that new technologies can be harnessed to further decarbonise Singapore's way of living.

"We are exploring new technologies, including decarbonisation solutions like carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and clean hydrogen, to decarbonise our industry and power generation," he wrote.

In addition, he said the authorities are looking at tighter standards for energy-efficient green buildings and solar energy, and considering importing renewable energy generated in countries in the region.

"Each of us can take immediate practical steps too. Our collective responsibility demands no less," Mr Lee added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 20, 2019, with the headline MPs respond to climate rallygoers' ideas. Subscribe