03/15/2022, 16.26
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'Green' policies in Singapore against rising sea levels

by Steve Suwannarat

The city-state is particularly exposed to the effects of climate change with large areas in danger of being submerged. The authorities plan to increase the country’s carbon tax and invest some US$ 73 billion in coastal reforestation and green spaces to boost oxygen emissions.

Singapore (AsiaNews) – Singapore has great plans to address the environmental emergency that threatens its territory from, among other things, rising sea levels, which might partially submerge its territory.

It will do so by substantially increasing its carbon tax by 2030, reaching zero-greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and investing massively to improve the environmental quality of its natural ecosystems.

This comes just as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest annual report on climate change, which confirms the risks faced by the small city-state and rekindled the local environmental debate.

Released at the end of February, the report highlights the risks to coastal cities and infrastructures, noting the problems of such vulnerable areas that host a substantial part of the human population and economic activities.

In Southeast Asia alone, urbanised coastal regions are now home to 280 million inhabitants, which are projected to rise to 550 million by mid-century. Such areas also generate 80 per cent of total GDP.

None more so than in Singapore, which is a unique reality: a city-state at the extreme tip of the Malay Peninsula, strongly interconnected with the Malaysian and Asian hinterlands, but at the same time projected towards the Indonesian archipelago and, above all, open like few others to global relations by sea.

The benefits brought to the country by this position and the well-being of the population are increasingly in danger by stronger tides and rising sea levels, not to mention the growing unpredictability of natural phenomena like monsoons, typhoons, and tsunamis.

Over time, Singapore has developed tools for the management of inland waters and protection from its maritime environment; at the same time, it has created urban and industrial land where once stood the sea.

All this has partially limited the impact of climate change, while making the country a leader in the fight against greenhouse gases.

It is currently reforesting coastal areas and creating, wherever possible, green spaces that increase oxygen emissions, absorb harmful elements, and limit soil erosion.

Initiatives of this type are expected to cost 100 billion Singapore dollars (approximately about US$ 73 billion) by 2100.

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