Singaporeans must prepare for the impact of climate change

18 Aug 2019 2 min read

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Singaporeans must prepare for the impact of climate change on Singapore to safeguard the existence of our island nation, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

In his National Day Rally speech, Mr Lee highlighted the three things that Singaporeans can do:

• Understand climate changeSingapore has set up a Centre for Climate Research Singapore (CCRS) to model the weather and do research. It is cooperating with counterparts to study how climate change is affecting our region 

• Mitigate climate changeMr Lee said that we must do our part to reduce CO2 emissions. Singapore has joined international efforts to reduce emissions and has committed to slow down and cap our CO2 emission by around 2030. Mr Lee also encouraged Singaporeans to contribute solutions and do our fair share in reducing emissions.  

• Adapt to climate change, especially rising sea levelsMr Lee shared that the Government will implement measures to protect individual buildings and developments such as requiring new developments to be built on higher platforms – at least four metres instead of three metres above mean sea level.  

However, PM Lee explained that beyond localised measures, the Government would build coastal defences to protect entire areas and prioritise work starting with more critical segments, at City-East Coast and Jurong Island.  

To protect Singapore against rising sea levels, PM estimated that the long-term costs to be $100 billion or even more in 100 years.

“If we only have 10 years to solve the problem, we won’t have enough time or resources to do it. But because this is a 50 to 100-year problem, we can implement a 50 to 100-year solution,” he said. 

Mr Lee also stressed that we should treat climate change defences like the Singapore Armed Forces “with utmost seriousness” and the Government will implement our climate change plans progressively and keep them flexible.  

“These are life and death matters. Everything else must bend at the knee to safeguard the existence of our island nation,” he added. 

On the topic of building Singapore, PM Lee said that the Government has long term plans to remake and take full advantage of our coastline and one of its plans is the Greater Southern Waterfront. 

The Greater Southern Waterfront will be six times the size of Marina Bay and double the size of Punggol and will comprise:

• 30km of the southern coastline from the Gardens by the Bay East area to Pasir Panjang

• 9,000 housing units – HDB and private housing with waterfont promenades, greenery and open spaces

• Office spaces and night life choices • National Trades Union Congress’ new “Downtown South” resort at Pulau Brani

Image: Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook