PM Lee Hsien Loong to discuss climate change in National Day Rally speech

Breakwater structures at East Coast Park that help keep down the amount of erosion.
Breakwater structures at East Coast Park that help keep down the amount of erosion.PHOTO: CMG
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his 16th National Day Rally speech at the Institute of Technical Education in Ang Mo Kio on the evening of Aug 18, 2019.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his 16th National Day Rally speech at the Institute of Technical Education in Ang Mo Kio on the evening of Aug 18, 2019.PHOTO: AFP
In this file photo from 2016, a stretch of Nicoll Drive, next to Changi Beach, is shown freshly elevated to prepare for rising sea levels due to climate change.
In this file photo from 2016, a stretch of Nicoll Drive, next to Changi Beach, is shown freshly elevated to prepare for rising sea levels due to climate change.ST FILE PHOTO

He says S'pore must treat issue seriously, and will talk about how country should respond

Singapore must treat climate change seriously as the Republic is a low-lying island that is par-ticularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he said he will be talking about how the country should respond to climate change in his 16th National Day Rally speech on Sunday at the Institute of Technical Education in Ang Mo Kio.

He will speak in Malay and Mandarin from 6.45pm to 7.30pm, and in English from 8.15pm to 9.30pm.

In his Facebook post, he shared a BBC report that provided an analysis of how temperatures in 1,000 cities around the world, including Singapore, have risen since 1900.

The report noted that global warming is projected to continue rising until 2100, the year by which a United Nations-backed expert panel said fossil fuels should be phased out if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.

PM Lee wrote: "If you pick the chart for Singapore, in the worst case, temperatures for July will rise from 27.8 deg C now to 31.1 deg C by 2100.

"Those are monthly averages. Maximum temperatures during the day will be much higher.

 
 
 
 

"Today, we are already hitting daytime highs of 32 deg C and even 34 deg C, so by 2100, Singapore could see 37 deg C days!"

He added that Singapore must treat climate change very seriously.

"As a low-lying island, Singapore is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels," he said.

In his National Day message on the eve of National Day, PM Lee also gave an indication of other areas he will focus on in the National Day Rally speech.

He said that pre-school and tertiary education will be made more affordable for lower-and middle-income families, and retirement and re-employment ages will be raised to help older Singaporeans who wish to work longer.

Also, in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli noted that Singapore has been contributing in the fight against climate change.

In addition, Mr Masagos said the agri-food industry is working on transforming itself through science-based innovations.

These efforts, which are supported by the Government, include helping farmers use indoor vertical farming and smart technologies.

"By planning ahead, and constantly learning from global best practices and innovations, we can meet the challenges of climate change," Mr Masagos said.

"We can steer for a new green economy with new jobs and economic opportunities for our people and for Singapore."

And in October, for the first time, Singapore will host a Scoping Meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), together with a meeting of the IPCC bureau.

The IPCC is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations that provides regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, among other things.

Mr Masagos said a "recent IPCC report, by more than 100 authors from 52 countries, provides a stark reminder of the need to build more sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture systems".

The National Day Rally will be broadcast on local TV channels and radio stations and live-streamed on the Prime Minister's Office's YouTube page, PM Lee's Facebook page and the Facebook page of government feedback unit Reach.

The Straits Times will be bringing you live coverage of the annual event on www.straitstimes.com. Get instant updates on key announcements in our live blog and watch a video analysis of the speech.

Get instant updates of the National Day Rally on www.straitstimes.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 16, 2019, with the headline 'PM Lee to discuss climate change in Rally speech'. Print Edition | Subscribe