Governments urged to put in place plans to resolve environmental problems

Lynda Hong Channel NewsAsia 25 Nov 13;

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has urged governments to put in place long-term master plans and policies to help resolve global environmental problems.

Speaking at the Responsible Business Forum on Monday, Dr Balakrishnan said: “Without that regulatory certainty, climate change and global warming or transboundary haze at the regional level will not be resolved. Because at the end of the day, as companies, you all know how to make money.

“But one key thing which you demand from government is - tell me your rules, be certain, be stable.”

He added that governments must also be able to execute the plans and policies, including prosecuting businesses and individuals who flout the rules.

Having attended the UN climate talks in Poland recently, Dr Balakrishnan said he is pessimistic that the talks will eventually help to cut global carbon emissions. And that is partly due to the lack of political will to drive efforts.

- CNA/ms