Public Consultation and Perception Survey reflect strong public interest in climate change
Singapore, 9 February 2012- As part of the development of the National Climate Change Strategy 2012 (NCCS-2012) and to engage the public on climate change-related issues, the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS), together with the agencies under the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC), conducted consultations from September 2011 to January 2012 which received over 1,000 comments from stakeholders and members of the public.
To reach different segments of the public, consultations were organised through various channels. These included an online consultation portal www.nccs.gov.sg/consultation, focus group discussions and public forums. The online consultation and focus group discussions sought feedback from households, businesses and subject experts in areas such as transport, energy efficiency in buildings, homes and businesses, as well as opportunities arising from addressing climate change. The public forums were held in partnership with the five Community Development Councils (CDCs) to reach out to grassroots leaders and residents on how they could play a part to address climate change.
Many suggestions on ways to reduce emissions were received. They included enhancing energy labels of household appliances to help consumers make more informed decisions on purchase of energy efficient appliances; expanding the Green Mark scheme to incorporate more criteria on environment sustainability; developing a depository of energy efficient practices as a reference for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to highlight how energy efficient practices can impact business profitability; greater government support for green vehicles; and incorporating climate change issues formally into the school curriculum. Relevant government agencies are looking into the suggestions. (Excerpts of the public feedback received and the Government’s responses are at Annex A).
The range of feedback received in the public consultation exercise reflected wide interest in climate change amongst the public. This interest was also reflected in a public perception survey conducted by NCCS in the last quarter of 2011 amongst 1,000 respondents to gauge public awareness, understanding and interest in climate change-related issues. The survey found that the public was concerned about climate change and wanted more information on the subject, such as the climate impacts on Singapore, the Government’s measures to tackle climate change as well as what individuals could do to address climate change. (Key survey findings are at Annex B.)
Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Co-ordinating Minister for National Security, Minister for Home Affairs and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change (IMCCC) said, “Climate change is an important global issue that will have an impact on all of us. I am heartened to see the strong support for climate change action among Singaporeans. In particular, 86% of respondents felt that they play a part in taking action on climate change. More than half of the respondents recognised that their individual actions will make a difference, and many are contributing in various ways. If we do our part, we can help protect the environment for future generations and ensure that Singapore is well prepared for climate change, and remains economically competitive and vibrant even as we seek to mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Collective Effort and Shared Ownership by the People, Private and Public sectors
Mr Yuen Sai Kuan, Director, 3P Network Division, NCCS, said, “The collective efforts of the People, Private and Public (3P) sectors are important in building a sense of shared ownership in addressing climate change. The public consultation and perception survey are important ways for us to reach out to the public to understand their views and how we can work together to tackle climate change.”
Agreeing, Mr Jose Raymond, Executive Director of Singapore Environment Council (SEC) said, “The consultation exercise was a great way to get Singaporeans discussing the effects of climate change. The SEC is pleased that efforts were made to engage as wide a group as possible, from NGOs to corporations, students and heartland communities.”
Mr Edwin Khew, President, Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) and Co-Chair of the Focus Group on Improving the Manufacturing / Industry Sector’s Energy Efficiency, added, “NCCS’ consultation with industry on energy efficiency sharpened the industry’s focus on energy management standards, consumption patterns and Government incentives.”
The list of feedback and suggestions, as well as agencies’ responses can be viewed at NCCS’ website www.nccs.gov.sg/consultation.
About the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS)
The NCCS was set up as a dedicated agency under the Prime Minister’s Office with effect from 1 July 2010 to coordinate Singapore’s domestic and international policies, plans and actions on climate change so as to secure a sustainable living environment for our future generations. NCCS will achieve this by adopting a Whole-of-Government approach and working with the People and Private sectors to devise and implement cost-effective mitigation and adaptation solutions, reap the opportunities arising from addressing climate change challenges and contribute towards global efforts to address climate change. For more information, please visit www.nccs.gov.sg.
About the National Climate Change Strategy 2012 (NCCS-2012)
The National Climate Change Strategy 2012 (NCCS-2012) is a document being produced by NCCS and the IMCCC agencies. Planned for release in mid-2012, the NCCS-2012 will explain Singapore’s efforts to reduce emissions, studies to understand the impacts of climate change, the opportunities arising from climate change, as well as the collective effort and partnerships needed with all stakeholders to effectively address the issues and plans for climate change.