1 Good afternoon. I am pleased to be here to discuss how we can build a greener silk road for harmony with nature.
2 We gather here today to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. In many ways, BRI’s principles remain as relevant today as a decade ago. Promoting consensus, cooperation and collective action in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals remain urgent tasks of the present.
3 Countries along the Belt and Road are experiencing the cataclysmic effects of climate change. It is now more pressing than ever for us to band together to build a world that can co-exist harmoniously with nature. Staying within the 1.5-degree limit of global temperature rise is an existential priority. If we succeed, billions of people stand to gain from better livelihoods and opportunities. If we do not, the world faces severe calamities and hardship.
4 To do so, international cooperation and partnerships are crucial to addressing the adverse impacts of climate change. The world’s renewed focus on sustainability and the global pursuit of decarbonisation have created new synergies in environmental cooperation. As a global community with a shared future, we can tap on emerging opportunities to contribute to climate action together.
5 In particular, a low-carbon future hinges on the collaboration between industries and countries to develop and put in place the new technologies that are needed.
6 Singapore has been an early supporter of the BRI, and will do our part to contribute to sustainable development under the initiative.
7 We have signed numerous agreements to promote development along the BRI, including one to deepen third-party market cooperation between Singapore and China commercial entities.
8 We also work closely with China to advance sustainable growth development. Besides the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City (TEC), Singapore companies are also pushing frontiers through the Singapore Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island, a township project which leverages on the expertise of both countries to develop a smart, green, and ecologically friendly city.
9 Beyond our collaborations on land, Singapore and China are developing the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative – the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor – an important trade route that connects the overland Economic Belt with the Maritime Silk Road from Western China to the Southeast.
10 We should ride on the good momentum to steer the BRI towards a more sustainable development model. As we continue our cooperation through the BRI, we can support climate mitigation and adaptation efforts alongside economic opportunities, while being mindful that our efforts to address climate change do not inadvertently create negative environmental impacts.
11 In conclusion, BRI partners must continue to advance conversations on green development. This will help us learn from one another, pursue our climate endeavours, and build a green silk road in harmony with nature.
12 I wish the BRI many fruitful decades ahead. Thank you.