Commentary: Work of Singapore climate activists has only just begun
Climate activists can play a bridging role in helping corporates and consumers make the green shift but need help forming powerful alliances, says ...
Chemical refineries in Singapore. (Photo: AFP)A conversation on trade-offs must be had, but there is no denying we are not doing our fair share as a developed nation, or maximising Singapore’s chances of survival. We cannot afford such intransigence nor take a gradual, wait-and-see approach.
This is where activism can play a role.Get the expert viewThe best commentaries and analysis to better help you see beyond today’s news headlines. Subscribe to CNA’s Commentary newsletter.Invalid email addressIt looks like the email address you entered is not valid.
Try AgainThis service is not intended for persons residing in the EU. By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive news updates and promotional material from Mediacorp and Mediacorp's partners.Sign me upWATCH: Climate change activists face challenges in sustaining the movement | Video headtopics.com
CLIMATE ACTIVISTS PLAY A KEY BRIDGING ROLEClimate activists play a crucial and bridging role of calling for climate action, while addressing Singaporeans’ bread-and-butter concerns and ensuring that no one is left behind.Climate groups such as SG Climate Rally have suggested redistributing carbon tax revenues to defray increased costs of living, and have campaigned against the increase in petrol taxes due to their impact on taxi drivers and delivery riders.
Activists have also demanded support for local workersretrenchedby petrochemical companies like Exxon and Shell.Since 2019, climate activists have made progress in raising awareness of such issues. The organisation we work with, Singapore Youth for Climate Action, recently organised the Singapore Conference of Youths (SCOY) last January to educate approximately 60 participants about climate issues and to encourage them to co-create solutions.
Policy proposals and ideas were compiled into a working paper which would feed into the international organisation YOUNGO’s work with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).Other initiatives have translated awareness into advocacy. For instance, SG Climate Rally and Speak For Climate have published a scorecard of political parties’ stances on climate change. Such work has been channelled through community-organised town halls to members of Parliament.
CHALLENGES FACED BY CLIMATE ACTIVISTSBut many climate groups barely have enough volunteers to run awareness-raising programmes, and have little funding to hire full-time staff to manage them, let alone engage corporations and the government.A participant holds up a sign with the words"Climate Justice Now" at a climate change rally at the Speakers' Corner in Singapore. headtopics.com
Founding members of such groups often have little choice but to engage government agencies and members of Parliament on climate issues on an ad-hoc basis, even as they manage their groups while juggling full-time jobs. They also do so without the support of a dedicated policy research team.
Such groups could benefit from more volunteers, as well as funding from private individuals and foundations, to run advocacy programmes and carry out needed research to inform policy advocacy. Read more: CNA »
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