SINGAPORE — In a parliamentary exchange on Friday (21 Apr), Workers’ Party MP for Aljunied GRC, Leon Perera, asked Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore, whether Singapore would consider being a donor rather than a claimant to the COP27 Biodiversity Fund, given its status as a developed country.

Ms Fu initially repeated the reply that she had made previously that Singapore has not reached an understanding of what the COP27 fund entails and, therefore it did not have a chance to discuss this internationally.

However, under the grilling from the WP MP, the Minister replied that Singapore has not decided whether it would contribute or claim from this fund and that it would take into consideration all views, including the needs of the international community.

Ms Fu then turned around to ask Mr Perera about his position on whether his party would support contributing to the fund and how much the party would contribute to and to which countries, besides the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Perera shared his personal opinion that Singapore should make a reasonable contribution in proportion to the needs and resources of developing countries, and suggested that Singapore could reference other developed countries of a similar size of GDP.

“I think it should be in proportion to the needs and the resources of those developing countries. We need to see in proportion to the land area and biodiversity challenge that those developing countries faced and the funding GDP availability of government funds that those countries, those developing countries have,” said Mr Perera.

However, the Minister rebutted Mr Perera, saying that if Singapore were to benchmark other developed countries, it would deviate from the Paris Agreement, as Singapore does not belong to the group of developed countries.

In February’s parliament session, Ms Fu shared that a Transitional Committee has been tasked to make recommendations by COP28 on the details of the fund, taking into consideration the views of all stakeholders.

Ms Fu added that Singapore stands as a potential claimant from this Loss and Damage fund but is already doing its own adaptation and dedicating a significant part of financial resources to it.

She estimated up to S$100 billion dollars, which is diverting a lot of financial resources away from other urgent needs. The Minister stressed the importance of preventing such loss and damage from climate change from impacting Singapore’s own properties and institutions.

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP27, was the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference, held from 7 November 6 to 20 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The Loss and Damage fund aims to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change.

Loss and damage refers to the negative consequences that arise from the unavoidable risks of climate change, like rising sea levels, prolonged heatwaves, desertification, the acidification of the sea and extreme events, such as bushfires, species extinction and crop failures. As the climate crisis unfolds, these events will happen more and more frequently, and the consequences will become more severe.

 

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