Speech by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment, at the Brickland-ITE Green Festival on 28 April 2023
Mr Don Wee, Adviser to Choa Chu Kang GROs (Brickland)
Ms Alice Seow, Principal, ITE College West
Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you for inviting me to join you for the launch of the inaugural Brickland-ITE Green Festival. Allow me to share some thoughts on the importance of initiatives like yours, which bring together important stakeholders – our community partners, students and companies, in the spirit of climate action.
Urgent need to tackle climate change
2 We can all feel the impact of climate change in our daily lives. The last decade has been the warmest on record. The Centre for Climate Research Singapore has projected that daily peak temperatures could hit 40°C as early as 2045. At the same time, we are experiencing more intense and frequent rainfalls, with increasing incidences of flash floods.
3 Taking climate action is no longer a need, but a must. Although we contribute only 0.1 per cent of total global emissions, Singapore is committed to doing our part. Last year, we raised our climate ambition to achieve net zero by 2050, and for the public service to achieve net zero five years earlier. We have also made good progress under our Singapore Green Plan 2030. For example, Singapore is one of the most solar-dense cities in the world. You can find solar panels on HDB blocks, petrol stations, schools and even on our reservoirs. On transport, we have set a target that every HDB town will be Electric Vehicle (EV)-Ready, with approximately 2,000 carparks to be equipped with charging points by 2025.
The importance of partnerships
4 While the Government is leading our green transition, we will need our communities and individuals to journey closely alongside us. On an individual level, we can contribute in a variety of ways. For example, we can collect our Blooboxes to set up a home recycling corner, and ensure that we recycle right.
As part of the Green Festival, there is a wide range of workshops that we can learn useful skills at, with vermicomposting, hydroponics and fruit vinegar workshops. Find one that suits you!
5 Beyond our roles as individuals, partnerships will be essential in achieving our sustainability goals collectively. Partnerships allow us to pool our resources, knowledge and expertise. In this vein, I am heartened to hear about how our community partners have worked together with Brickland residents and ITE. For example, I am sure many of us are looking forward to visiting the EV booth, and even go on a test drive. The booth is organised by Komoco Motors and students from the ITE School of Engineering.
6 To cultivate a culture of sustainability, we launched the Green Action for Communities (GAC) movement last year. This nationwide movement brings together community leaders and residents to plan, organise and co-implement sustainability initiatives in their communities to support our Singapore Green Plan. I am encouraged by the progress that Brickland Grassroots Organisations and residents have made in this regard. I note that the Brickland Sustainability Workgroup has recently organised an initiative to upcycle old furniture under “Project Circular”, as well as a “Kayak and Clean” activity to pick up litter at Jurong Lake Gardens.
7 Through MSE’s annual Climate Action Week, we have been working with our partners to encourage communities to take collective action towards a sustainable future.
Last year, over 140 activities were organised by 80 partners. This year, we are excited to rebrand Climate Action Week as Go Green SG to better reflect the range of sustainability initiatives and programmes. We will also extend Go Green SG beyond just a week. We will have activities for everyone, when Go Green SG is launched later this year. I encourage everyone to join us for the activities in July!
Young leaders for climate action
8 I would like to make a special mention of our youths today – both those here at the launch and everyone taking part in the Green Festival activities. Our ITE students have taken the lead in this “youth for community” sustainability event, and co-organised many of the booths. I am heartened and encouraged to see this pro-active spirit amongst our youths.
9 I encourage our young leaders to exercise your leadership, through spearheading projects in recycling, reducing waste and sustainable living. You can tap on my Ministry’s SG Eco Fund to kickstart your project. A recently awarded project is an environmental education campaign run by undergraduates from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University. Their project aims to raise awareness among homeowners about the effects of excessive fast furniture, provide tips on how to upcycle furniture and encourage the purchase of pre-loved furniture.
10 Another way that we can all show our commitment is by taking the Green Nation Pledge. I invite everyone to scan the QR code on the screen to pledge – both as individuals and on behalf of your organisations. Together, towards making Singapore a green, liveable and climate-resilient home! I look forward to seeing you at the booths later. Have a great afternoon ahead!