Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/220593
Title: THE PUBLIC ROLE IN MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE : PERSPECTIVES FROM SINGAPORE
Authors: JAIDEEP SINGH PANWAR
Keywords: Environmental Management
Master (Environmental Management)
MEM
Study Report (MEM)
Victor Savage
2008/2009 EnvM
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2015
Citation: JAIDEEP SINGH PANWAR (2015-03-26). THE PUBLIC ROLE IN MITIGATING CLIMATE CHANGE : PERSPECTIVES FROM SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Climate change is arguably the leading environmental issue that the world is faced with. Experts warn that delaying efforts to seriously address the issue would have deleterious effects on our planet. Economists and technological experts have scrutinised various approaches to mitigating climate change and have projected numerous scenarios. On the ground, however, greenhouse gas emissions and their atmospheric concentrations that are the cause of climate change continue to increase, with their abatement seeming far from imminent. International efforts to mitigate climate change have been grossly inadequate. Experts have attributed this inaction on mitigating climate change to the lack of political resolve required to push through programmes that would alter the status quo. It is thus believed that the creation and prevalence of a strong dose of bottom-up public resolve and participation is necessary to operationalise the climate change mitigation agenda. It is in this context that this study sought to assess and understand the role of the public in climate change mitigation in Singapore. Various studies from places around the world were assessed so as to develop a global perspective on this topic. Experts from environmental NGOs in Singapore who have worked with the public on environmental issues were interviewed. Other studies on environmental governance in Singapore, official government documents on climate change and various ministerial statements on the subject were evaluated so as to develop a comprehensive understanding of the subject. An analysis of globally diverse cases on the subject revealed that while there were many barriers and stumbling blocks to garnering public support for and participation in mitigation efforts, certain factors and arguments have assisted in overcoming them. In Singapore, the government has steadfastly retained a stance that it was unwilling to undertake strong near term emission curbs, as that would impact economic growth. However, it was also recognised that implementing cost effective mitigation measures and long term emission curbs would require public participation. Importantly, given that there existed a public apathy to environmental management issues as a consequence of Singapore’s command-and-control type environmental governance and low-to-medium levels of awareness of climate change amongst the public; it was clearly up to the government to take the lead on inducing this public role. The use of public messaging and campaigns, a mix of incentives and disincentives, particularly monetary ones and the adoption of a collaborative approach are most likely to induce public participation. Education and investments in infrastructure were found to be central in the long run in realising a vision of carving out a new climate conscious generation and meeting their infrastructural needs, respectively
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/220593
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