During an hour-long ministerial forum with students of the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) on 4 September, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong answered several questions from the audience.
Videos of the premier’s answers were uploaded into a playlist on the Prime Minister’s Office Youtube Channel.
Having talked about Singapore’s progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, PM Lee reiterated that climate change specifically is a global problem, the solution to which requires that other countries also contribute.
“If other countries don’t do their part and reduce CO2 emissions and slow down the global warming and slow down sea-level rise, it endangers all countries,” says PM Lee.
Even so, he explained that it’s not possible to force other countries to do what we want them to do. All Singapore can do is play its own part, and in doing so, that gives us the “moral standing” to urge other nations to follow suit.
“All we can do is our share, and because we are doing our share…we have the moral standing to say “I’m doing my part, please do your part”,” he said.
But even then if other countries do not do what is necessary, PM Lee says that means Singapore will have to prepare for the impacts of global warming.
“I must spend, if need be, S$100 billion over 100 years, if need be more than that in order to make sure that if the sea levels rise, Singapore does not become a smaller island.”
“We can afford the money and we will make our plans carefully, we make sure that the money is well spent. But we have to protect ourselves,” he added later.
The PM also noted that both right- and left-wing governments around the world are facing pressures from their own citizens on this issue, where there are many who find it difficult to consider the long term, focusing instead on the here and how.
“I need land to plant new crops. I need money, so I’m mining coal and selling to other countries. I have oil, I’m not very good at doing anything else very much and therefore I’m taking the oil out of the ground and I’m going to sell the oil to people who burn it and put CO2 in the atmosphere.”
These are pressure which government cannot easily ignore, PM Lee asserted.
“It’s money for jam. And the government which wants to be green is kicked out and somebody else comes in and he despoils the planet.”
The PM then noted that the Paris Accord was the first step in countries coming together to address this issue, noting that while it may not be enough, it is a step in the right direction.
“Other steps will have to be taken later on but this is the first step and everybody is signed up. So if we don’t do our part, we are not a good global citizen. And whether you are big or small, if you don’t do your part, you are not a good global citizen. And we hope that has some impact.
The world is an imperfect way and that’s the way difficult problems can be solved or at least tackled with partial solutions.”

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

ST Marine was involved in a corruption scandal in 2014 but still allowed to bid and win government tenders – why?

Back in 2017, former ST Marine group financial controller Ong Teck Liam…

Local man sues Malaysia’s Immigration Department for RM2.67 million over ‘unlawful arrest’ and ‘degrading treatment’ during detention

A Singaporean man, who is a retired teacher and a well-known musician,…

各让一步 马国暂缓设禁飞区 我国暂缓启用ILS降落程序

马来西亚外交部长赛夫丁,于今日到访我国,与我国外长维文针对新马领空和港口边界课题进行商讨。 今日的交流成果,使马国暂缓在柔佛巴西古当上空设立永久飞行禁区,而我国也同意暂缓在实里达机场实施仪表降落系统程序(ILS)。 两项措施即日生效,为期一个月。双方仍会在短期内再谈判,以便对ILS系统和禁飞区事宜讨论进一步细节。 设海事工作队研究海域问题 与此同时,双方同意设立海事工作团队,研究和商讨海域问题的法律和运作事宜,并缓解局势,为进一步的谈判建立基础。有关海事团队的研究报告会在两个月内提呈给部长。 维文形容今日与赛夫丁“进行了正面和有建设性的交流”,并且承诺加强两国双边关系。 赛夫丁也在个人脸书张贴与维文共同发布的联合声明视频:

The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

Former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech when she presented the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the United Nations in 1948.