PM Lee Hsien Loong to talk about Singapore's response to climate change in National Day Rally speech

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

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

In a Facebook post on Thursday (Aug 15), PM Lee said that he would be talking about how the country should respond to climate change during his National Day Rally speech on Sunday.

It will be PM Lee's 16th National Day Rally speech, which he will deliver 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 gave an analysis of how temperatures in 1,000 cities around the world, including Singapore, have increased since 1900.

The report noted that global warming is projected to rise from now till 2100.

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 last Thursday, on the eve of National Day, PM Lee also gave an indication of what else he would 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.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, in a Facebook post on Thursday, noted that Singapore has made some contributions so far in the fight against climate change.

In October, for the first time, a Scoping Meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be held in Singapore together with a meeting of the IPCC bureau, he said.

In addition, "the 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", he said, adding that Singapore is proud to host these experts.

Mr Masagos also said the agri-food industry is working on a 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."

 
 

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

Live updates can be read on PM Lee's Facebook and Twitter pages.

The rally will also be available for viewing from next Monday at www.youtube.com/pmosingapore or www.pmo.gov.sg/ndr.

The Straits Times will be bringing you live coverage of the annual event on www.straitstimes.com. Watch the livestream of PM Lee’s speech, get instant updates on key announcements in our live blog and watch a video analysis of the speech.