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PAP MPs file motion for prioritising Singaporeans in move towards sustainability

07 Jan 2022 3 min read

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To ensure Singaporeans are placed front and centre as the world moves towards a more sustainable economy and future, Members of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Sustainability and the Environment have filed their second Parliamentary motion to address climate change and its impact on Singapore. This follows their motion in February 2021, which was the first-ever motion on climate change filed in Singapore’s Parliament.

Deputy Chair of the GPC for Sustainability and the Environment Poh Li San filed the private member’s motion for the Parliament sitting on 10-12 January 2022, supported by GPC Chair Louis Ng and GPC Members Nadia Ahmad Samdin, Don Wee, Gan Thiam Poh and Hany Soh.

The motion states, “This House calls for the Government to enhance green financing, create more green jobs, and strengthen corporate accountability, in partnership with the private sector, civil society and community, to advance Singapore’s inclusive transition towards a low-carbon society.”

PAP MPs speaking on the motion will draw on the Young PAP(YP)’s paper “Climate Action Strategy Phase 1: Developing a Green Ecosystem”. The YP will conclude its series of consultations with climate activists and industry players on 9 January 2022, after which it will submit its paper to the government.

Deputy Chair of the GPC for Sustainability and the Environment Poh Li San (centre) filed the private member’s motion, supported by GPC Members Nadia Ahmad Samdin (right), Don Wee (left), Chair of the GPC Louis Ng and other members .

PAP MPs will suggest ways for Singapore to become the regional hub for a carbon marketplace, sustainability accounting and reporting, and sustainability R&D. MPs speaking on this aspect include Nadia Ahmad Samdin and Henry Kwek. To prepare Singaporeans for the jobs created by a region-leading sustainability sector, the MPs will call for a dedicated Green Space Academy for sustainability-related R&D and training, as well as enhanced internship programmes developed through a tripartite approach. MPs speaking on this aspect include Poh Li San, Hany Soh and Rachel Ong.

Deputy Chair Poh Li San said, “In our first motion on climate change last year, we called for the whole of Singapore to accelerate and deepen efforts against climate change. Since then, the GPC and YP have continued our conversations with industry experts, academia, environmental groups and Singaporeans. In this motion, we focus on a specific aspect of the green transition, which is ensuring Singaporeans are not left behind. We hope to get the whole House to support the motion. Meanwhile, the GPC and YP will continue to engage Singaporeans on other aspects of moving towards a sustainable future.”

Nadia Ahmad Samdin said, “55,000 jobs will be created in the sustainability sector by 2030. Singaporeans of all backgrounds should have the option to participate in this growth, and be front and centre in taking advantage of the opportunities. We should also seize this chance to build expertise and be a regional leader in areas such as a carbon marketplace, green financing, sustainability reporting and R&D.”

The GPC is also concerned about how local businesses of all sizes can survive and thrive as sustainability concerns become more integrated into the global marketplace. Hence, PAP MPs speaking on the motion will suggest for government to publish a catalogue of firms with low or reduced carbon emissions, so that the buying behavior of consumers and other firms is nudged towards firms with more sustainable practices, and other firms are incentivized to follow best practices. The MPs will also suggest a tiered carbon tax which will reduce the burden on firms with lower emissions, while giving firms with higher emissions more incentive to reduce their emissions. MPs speaking on this aspect include Don Wee, Louis Ng and Gan Thiam Poh.

Don Wee said, “As sustainability standards become essential in the global marketplace, we need to help our businesses get ahead of the curve and take advantage of opportunities in the region-leading sustainability sector we want to build. We’ll call for guidance for companies to reduce their carbon emissions and recognition for firms who have done well.”

The GPC for Finance and Trade and Industry will support the motion. MPs from the GPC Liang Eng Hwa (Chair of the GPC), Foo Mee Har (Deputy Chair of the GPC), Saktiandi Supaat, Derrick Goh, Mariam Jaafar, Edward Chia and Shawn Huang will speak on seizing opportunities for green growth, balancing trade-offs for a brighter future and upgrading skills and transforming jobs for an inclusive transition. NMP and environmental scientist Prof Koh Lian Pin will also speak during the motion.

Feature image: blackmobil