Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the NUS-CNCS Research Showcase at the COP27 Singapore Pavilion
Good afternoon everyone,
1 I am pleased to be here today, at the Singapore Pavilion at COP27, at the showcase of the research by the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Nature-Based Climate Solutions or CNCS.
2 Science has played a crucial role in climate action, and features prominently at this year’s COP.
a. First, science has helped us to understand the greenhouse effect, and make the connection between human activities and climate change. The first reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) set the foundation for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
b. Second, science enables us to predict the future. If you visit the IPCC pavilion, you will see how science enables us to model and project the effects of climate change. This helps us to determine what corrective actions are needed to change the course of global warming.
c. Third, science forms the basis of technological innovations in developing solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation. This is very much evident in this year’s COP – the Implementation COP – as different pavilions showcase innovative solutions for climate action.
3 As a small country with no natural resources, Singapore has had to leverage science and innovation to transcend our limitations and turn them into opportunities. For example, although we lack sufficient water for our consumption, science and innovation enabled recycling and desalination through reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration. Today, we have created new sources of water through recycling and desalination. Going forward, we are looking to science and innovation for low-carbon technologies, such as low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage. We hope to catalyse these low-carbon energy through an US$40 million Low-carbon Energy Research Funding Initiative. Last year, Singapore-based companies, Keppel Data centre, Chevron, Pan-United and Surbana Jurong, signed an MoU to accelerate the development of CCUS technologies with the support of Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
4 Science also forms the basis to elicit participation from climate actors beyond the scientific community. It fosters collaboration among stakeholders to scale up and implement solutions. This is the essence of what CNCS’ latest research programmes aim to do. In September, CNCS launched its Carbon Prospecting Dashboard in New York City. The tool’s dashboard, which is free to use, allows investors, civil society, and governments to find where forests and mangroves are in need for greater protection. Such information will help direct finance, such as through carbon credits, towards the protection of forests and mangroves. The protection of forests and mangroves will also lead to co-benefits, such as biodiversity protection, improved agricultural yield and improved local water quality. I’m pleased to see that CNCS is contributing to global research outcomes through this carbon prospecting tool.
5 More recently, CNCS also launched the Carbon Integrity SG research programme here at COP27. This programme will enable governments, organisations and research groups to share data related to forest carbon monitoring plots across Southeast Asia, and finetune the data on the Carbon Prospecting Dashboard. The programme will see the development of carbon accounting methodologies that take into account Southeast Asia’s habitats, like rainforests, mangroves, and peatlands. This will provide investors with more certainty on their investments directed towards the conservation of the region’s rich natural habitats.
6 I hope today’s showcase by the Centre of Nature-Based Climate Solutions will spark many more interesting conversations and collaborations – among scientists, policy makers and private sector players – to implement nature-based solutions with speed and scale all across the world. I wish you a fruitful afternoon of discussions.
7 Thank you.