Singapore has pledged to assist its Southeast Asian neighbours in tackling climate change through taking charge of several regional programmes.
Under the Climate Action Package (CAP), which was launched on July 10, Singapore will work to increase capacity in critical areas such as disaster risk reduction, climate science, flood management, and long-term resilience, reported Channel News Asia.
“We hope that the CAP will be useful to ASEAN countries as they ramp up actions to address climate change,” said Singapore’s Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli during the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (SAMCA).
Delegates from various Southeast Asian countries attended the meeting, which was initiated by Singapore as part of its 2018 chairmanship of ASEAN.
According to Masagos, most of ASEAN’s population resides along low-lying coasts and river plains, making them highly vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme climates. Thus, the countries in the region must work together, he said.
Masagos cited super-typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which caused over 6,000 deaths in several Southeast Asian countries, and warned that stronger storms may devastate the region.
“That is what scientists are telling us can happen if we do nothing about climate change,” he said.
Singapore will also provide support to the formation of the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF), which will be set up in the city in 2019.
Additionally, Meteorological Service Singapore will contribute SG$5 million to a five-year capability development programme, which will begin this year and aims to benefit other countries in the region.
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