Speech by Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli at the Movie Premiere of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Mr Ang Wee Gee
Chief Executive Officer, Keppel Land
Mr Tan Swee Yiow
Chief Executive Officer, Keppel REIT Management
President of Singapore Green Building Council
Ms Flora Goh
Managing Director of United International Pictures Singapore
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to join you this evening, to be a part of a very meaningful initiative aimed at addressing and educating a global audience on the impacts of climate change.
We live in a fast changing world, with industrialisation happening at an unprecedented pace. One consequence of our rapid development, is the reality of climate change and global warming. Countries all over the world are experiencing more frequent and extreme weather patterns, resulting in floods, droughts and rising sea levels affecting millions everywhere.
Climate change has now become the biggest environmental problem mankind has ever seen. However, we are taking steps in a positive direction. A key milestone was the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change in December 2015 and its coming into force in November 2016. More recently, 19 of the G-20 countries have also reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement at the Hamburg summit last month.
Singapore, a low-lying, island city-state, is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Last year was the warmest year on record for Singapore. New records for the warmest January, April and August were also set in 2016. Even though Singapore contributes only 0.11 per cent of global carbon emissions, we recognise that we have a key role to play in combating climate change, and to remain committed to our pledge to reduce our emissions intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and to stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around the same time.
But what does this mean for us and how can we do our part for climate change? Quite simply, all of us – in Singapore and across the world – must act now, and act responsibly. Countries must work together to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We must take immediate steps to preserve our environment for our future generations.
To this end, the Government launched the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015 and the Climate Action Plan, to serve as roadmaps towards sustainable development and carbon mitigation. Improving energy efficiency is Singapore’s key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plans have been made to improve energy efficiency across all industry sectors.
Realising that the fight for environmental consciousness and climate resilience is a continuous one which involves many stakeholders, we launched the Sustainable Singapore Movement in 2016 to galvanise Singaporeans and residents to adopt greener practices for a more sustainable and carbon-efficient Singapore. Simple things we could do include taking public transport, using efficient appliances and reducing energy and water consumption.
Indeed, I am heartened that this event, which is in support of the Sustainable Singapore Movement, has brought like-minded partners together for the common cause of environmental sustainability and raising awareness on the impacts of climate change. It is most assuring to see the private sector taking the lead in such sustainability efforts. I would like to commend Keppel Land and Keppel REIT for raising the awareness of climate change to the community and doing their part to promote sustainability within their internal operations. I hope more organisations and individuals will do likewise.
More than a decade ago the award-winning An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heat of popular culture. This is the power of education. Through this documentary, people were able to grasp the reality of the unprecedented effects of climate change and its implications for the future. Tonight we are here to witness the much awaited sequel showcasing Al Gore’s tireless global campaign and training an army of climate champions in influencing international climate policy.
As we enjoy the documentary in the comfort of this theatre, I hope you put on your sustainability lens and imagine how you, and your communities, can be part of the solution towards climate change. Our goal towards a more carbon-efficient and climate-resilient Singapore can only be achieved when everyone takes personal responsibility towards mitigating the effects of climate change and protecting our environment. With that, I wish everyone an enjoyable and thought-provoking evening!
Source: Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources