Severe haze last year could have influenced climate change survey results: DPM Teo

Channel NewsAsia 14 Apr 14;

SINGAPORE: The severe transboundary haze which blanketed Singapore in June last year could have influenced the results of a recent survey on climate change, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in Parliament on Monday.

The survey, commissioned by the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), showed that only 39 per cent of respondents felt taking action on climate change was their responsibility.

This compared to more than 55 per cent who felt that way in a previous survey.

Responding to a question by Nominated Member of Parliament, Associate Professor Eugene Tan, on the reason for the decline, Mr Teo said half the respondents cited "clearing of forests" as a key contributor to climate change.

He said as there is not much of a role an individual could play in preventing transboundary haze, more respondents could have been looking to the government instead to take action.

On the other hand, Mr Teo said the survey also showed over 80 per cent of respondents said they adopt climate-friendly behaviour.

This includes turning off electrical appliances, when they are not in use, at the mains and taking public transport.

He said this is an improvement from the previous survey, in which 70 per cent indicated they were doing so.

To reach out to Singaporeans on climate change issues, Mr Teo said the NCCS is doing so through community events, schools and social media.

A climate change exhibition will also be launched at the Science Centre by the end of the year.

- CNA/ms