Legarda Meets Singapore’s Environment Minister on Green Economy and ASEAN Partnership

May 21, 2018

In her recent visit to Singapore to attend the 5th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources, Senator Loren Legarda cited the country’s resolve to address the global threat of climate change and embrace the tenets of sustainable development.

Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, met with Minister Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for Environment and Water Resources, to discuss noteworthy issues on climate action, carbon pricing, and ASEAN partnership towards resilience and innovation.

“I admire Singapore’s political will to get things done. The initiatives of the government to impose early investment in green economy and environmental resilience sustained the countries socio-economic growth,” Legarda said.

“The Philippines has enacted a lot of good environmental laws, but the strict implementation of these laws remains a challenge. We need Singapore’s influence and example,  more especially because Singapore is the current Chair of ASEAN and it has declared 2018 as ‘Year of Climate Action’,” she added.

Singapore is set to be the first ASEAN country to impose carbon tax by next year. Zulkifli explained that the carbon tax to be collected is not meant to fund the government, but will be used instead to support climate initiatives to encourage investments on green growth projects that will eventually reduce carbon emission.

Legarda said the Philippines could learn from Singapore’s Cooperation Programs, which include the Distinguished Visitor Program for ministers and eminent persons, a customized visit in Singapore to observe the government’s environmental initiatives, such as carbon pricing and innovations in climate and energy.

Legarda noted that engagements like these convey a message to climate deniers that pursuing a low carbon pathway does not impede economic growth but would actually mean more jobs, less vulnerability, less risks, and more income.

Meanwhile, Zulkifli said that he is looking forward to the Philippines’ representation at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action in July for a more thorough discussion on ASEAN’s collective action in the fight against climate change.