Remarks by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the Virtual Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the US-ASEAN Business Council and the National Environment Agency on 20 October 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen
1 Good evening to our friends in the USA and warm greetings to all who have joined this virtual signing ceremony. I thank the US-ASEAN Business Council for hosting this event. The US and Singapore share a common vision for the future, and we work closely on environmental and sustainability matters with both the public and private sectors in the US. I welcome the Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Collaboration and Cooperation on Sustainability between the National Environment Agency of Singapore and the US-ASEAN Business Council.
2 Like many countries, Singapore is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The severity of the climate emergency has increased around us. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has warned that unless there is collective and immediate action, we risk facing more serious impacts of climate change such as intense droughts, rainfall, and flooding. As a small island-nation, Singapore is especially vulnerable to sea level rise. In an increasingly resource-constrained world, and against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic which has tested the resilience of our supply chains, it is imperative to accelerate the transition to sustainability.
3 While Singapore has always pursued sustainable development and balanced economic development and environmental protection, more can be done to prepare ourselves for a carbon-constrained future. Singapore launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030, a whole-of-nation roadmap to advance our sustainable development agenda and climate action. Under the Green Plan, we have set ambitious and concrete sectoral targets over the next 10 years to support our commitments under the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.
4 A key target under the Green Plan is to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill per capita per day by 20 per cent by 2026, and 30 per cent by 2030. Singapore aims to adopt a circular economy approach to our waste and resource management, to realise our vision of becoming a zero-waste nation. This will require a paradigm shift from the linear "take, make, use" mentality, to one where resources are re-used for as long as possible. A circular economy will open us to new economic opportunities, reduce our carbon footprint by conserving resources, and ensure a more sustainable future.
Importance of Cooperation
5 Climate change and environmental issues are complex, and do not respect national boundaries. As the need for action becomes ever more pressing, countries must cooperate at a global level to achieve our climate and sustainability targets. I am heartened that the US-ASEAN Business Council and the National Environment Agency of Singapore have decided to signal their concrete intent to collaborate and cooperate with this MOU. Through active dialogues and exchange of ideas, best practices, and the latest technological solutions, we can strengthen and develop initiatives on the sustainability agenda.