Singapore to offer programmes in climate change to Asean: Masagos

Audrey Tan Straits Times 10 Jul 18;

SINGAPORE - From raising minimum land reclamation levels to mitigate rising sea levels, to imposing a carbon tax on large emitters, Singapore has in place a comprehensive suite of measures to help it reduce its carbon emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Now, the Republic is offering this expertise to its neighbours.

On Tuesday (July 10), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said Singapore will offer a climate action package to Asean countries from this year.

This will include training programmes in climate change mitigation and adaptation, ranging from climate science to flood management and disaster risk reduction.

The package will run till 2020, with courses refreshed on an annual basis. Mr Masagos added that the package will be reviewed before the run-out date to see if it can be extended.

"We hope that the climate action package will be useful to Asean countries as they ramp up action to address climate change," he said at the opening of the Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action.

In attendance were Asean secretary-general Lim Jock Hoi and several ministers, including Laos' Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sommad Pholsena and Thailand's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, General Surasak Karnjanarat.

Malaysia's Acting High Commissioner to Singapore, Mr Jamal Sharifuddin Johan, and Indonesia's senior adviser to the Minister of Environment and Forestry on Climate Change and International Cooperation, Dr Nur Masripatin, were also at the meeting.

The high-level meeting, which took place at the Marina Bay Sands alongside three sustainability conferences - the Singapore International Water Week, CleanEnviro Summit Singapore and the World Cities Summit - is the first involving ministers and representatives from Asean countries to discuss climate change.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources had earlier told The Straits Times that Singapore, as this year's Asean chairman, is hosting the meeting to galvanise regional climate action.

On Tuesday, Mr Masagos shared Singapore's other initiatives in support of regional efforts to address climate change, a key component of which involves the sharing of information and data.

Other than the programmes under the climate action package, Singapore's Meteorological Service Singapore and the Centre for Climate Research Singapore will also share their climate projection data and findings for the region with other Asean countries, Mr Masagos said.

He also reaffirmed Singapore's support for the establishment of the South-east Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility by 2019. The facility was announced by the Finance Ministry in May this year.

"As Asean's first regional catastrophe risk pool, the (facility) will provide immediate liquidity to cover emergency response costs in the aftermath of natural catastrophes," said Mr Masagos.

For starters, the insurance facility will focus on the flood risk exposures of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, said Mr Masagos, adding that it has the potential to expand in scope to other Asean countries and different natural catastrophes.

"To conclude, Singapore is committed to working with our fellow Asean countries to address the risks of climate change.

"We hope the Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action will provide a platform for Asean to demonstrate our commitment and build regional momentum in advancing climate action," he added.


Singapore to offer climate change expertise to Asean: Masagos
Climate action training to be provided until 2020, and may be extended after review
Audrey Tan Straits Times 11 Jul 18;

From imposing a carbon tax on large emitters to raising minimum land reclamation levels to mitigate rising seas, Singapore has in place a comprehensive suite of measures to reduce its carbon emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Now, the Republic is offering this expertise to its neighbours.

Yesterday, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said Singapore will offer a climate action package to Asean countries from this year.

This will include training programmes in climate change mitigation and adaptation, ranging from climate science to flood management and disaster risk reduction.

The package will run until 2020, with courses refreshed on an annual basis. Mr Masagos said the package will be reviewed before the deadline to see if it can be extended.

"We hope that the climate action package will be useful to Asean countries as they ramp up action to address climate change," he said at the opening of the Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action.

In attendance were Asean Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi and several ministers, including Laos' Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sommad Pholsena and Thailand's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, General Surasak Karnjanarat.

Malaysia's Acting High Commissioner to Singapore, Mr Jamal Sharifuddin Johan, and Indonesia's senior adviser to the Minister of Environment and Forestry on Climate Change and International Cooperation, Dr Nur Masripatin, were also present.

The high-level meeting, which took place at Marina Bay Sands alongside three sustainability conferences - the Singapore International Water Week, CleanEnviro Summit Singapore and the World Cities Summit - is the first involving ministers and representatives from Asean countries to discuss climate change.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources had earlier told The Straits Times that Singapore, as this year's Asean chairman, is hosting the meeting to galvanise regional climate action.

Yesterday, Mr Masagos shared Singapore's other initiatives in support of regional efforts to address climate change, a key component of which involves the sharing of information and data.

Other than the programmes under the climate action package, Singapore's Meteorological Service Singapore and the Centre for Climate Research Singapore will also share their climate projection data and findings for the region with other Asean countries, Mr Masagos said.

He also reaffirmed Singapore's support for the establishment of the South-east Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility.

The facility, which will be set up in Singapore by next year, was announced by the Finance Ministry in May this year.

"As Asean's first regional catastrophe risk pool, the (facility) will provide immediate liquidity to cover emergency response costs in the aftermath of natural catastrophes," said Mr Masagos.

For a start, the insurance facility will focus on the flood risk exposures of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, although he said it has the potential to expand in scope to other Asean countries and different natural catastrophes.

Mr Masagos said Singapore is committed to working with its Asean neighbours to address the risks of climate change.


Call for Asean to work together for low-carbon future
Audrey Tan Straits Times 11 Jul 18;

The urgent need for Asean to deal with climate change was highlighted yesterday by two Singapore ministers, who called on the regional bloc to work together for a low-carbon future.

Both Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, cited Asean's vulnerability to the changing environment as a key reason for the countries to take steps to deal with climate change.

"Asean countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam could see a 70cm rise in sea levels by 2100. There is an urgent need for all countries to take steps to be low-carbon and more climate resilient," DPM Teo said. He was quoting a report by the Asian Development Bank that also said regional temperatures could rise by about 6 deg C by 2100 if no significant actions were taken to reduce greenhouse gases.

Mr Teo also noted that while Asean member states were already taking measures to reduce their emissions, adapt to climate change and grow the green economy on their own, there was scope to work together at the regional level. "At the Asean level, we can share our experiences and work with our dialogue partners to build a low-carbon future," he said during a meeting on climate change that included ministers and representatives from Asean countries.

Yesterday evening, Mr Masagos told the media that member states agreed to work together. Reiterating that Asean was particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, he said Singapore will do its part. "We have proposed a climate action package where we will bring Asean members to Singapore to build up capacity and capability, and to share our experiences on how we mitigate as well as adapt against climate change," he added.

Audrey Tan


Singapore to help ASEAN better tackle climate change with new programme
Junn Loh Channel NewsAsia 10 Jul 18;

SINGAPORE: There will be a slew of Singapore-led programmes from this year until 2020 as part of efforts to help ASEAN countries tackle climate change.

Under the Climate Action Package (CAP) launched on Tuesday (Jul 10), Singapore will organise programmes to develop capacity in key areas such as disaster risk reduction, climate science, flood management and long-term mitigation and adaptation strategies.

The courses under CAP will be refreshed annually and the initiative will be reviewed prior to 2020.

"We hope that the CAP will be useful to ASEAN countries as they ramp up actions to address climate change," said Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli at the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (SAMCA).

The special meeting, attended by delegates from ASEAN, was an initiative by Singapore, as the 2018 ASEAN Chair, to provide a regional platform to discuss climate action efforts.

The ASEAN region, whose population centres lie along low-lying coasts and river plains, is highly vulnerable to sea level rise and climate extremes, Mr Masagos noted, as he stressed the need for ASEAN to remain committed to climate action.

Citing the devastation of 2013's Super Typhoon Haiyan that swept through northern Southeast Asia, causing more than 6,000 deaths - Mr Masagos warned that worse storms may hit.

“That is what scientists are telling us can happen if we do nothing about climate change,” he said.

Apart from capacity building, Mr Masagos said Singapore will also lend its support in other areas. It is supporting the establishment of the first Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF), which will be set up in Singapore in 2019.

The risk pool is meant to provide immediate liquidity to cover emergency response costs in the aftermath of regional catastrophes.

The Meteorological Service Singapore will also contribute S$5 million in a five-year regional capability development programme, which will begin this year.

The programme aims to benefit ASEAN countries through the sharing of technical knowledge and skills in weather and climate prediction, to help the region better adapt its policies to climate change.

Source: CNA/ec/(gs)

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