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Youth should be empowered to tackle climate crisis, says Singapore minister

Rokiah Mahmud

Youth should be empowered to drive solutions towards climate change, said Singaporean Minister of Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu Hai Yien in a keynote address at Climate Action Week of the Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition 2022 (Brunei MYCE 2022) at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas yesterday.

Delivered via video, the Singaporean minister’s keynote speech ‘Youth on Climate Action – Singapore Contex’ emphasised on how youth can play a vital role.

She said climate change is an existential threat, and have impacted communities across the globe, adding that, “We have seen more frequent and intense weather events.”

She said Singapore and Brunei Darussalam are small emitters that collectively contributed less than 0.15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, “we are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change such as high temperatures, rising of sea levels and increase of flash floods”. She pointed out that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report said the window to secure a sustainable future for everyone is rapidly closing.

“Our youth and children will bear the brunt of climate change,” she said. Thus they should be empowered to drive solutions to climate change and lead to positive changes in their communities, said the minister, adding, “They can also co-create innovative solutions with the government, businesses and their community.”

Speakers at the Youth Coffee Table Dialogue. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Following the keynote address, the Youth Coffee Table Dialogue themed ‘Youth on Climate Acton’. took place.

Invited speakers include President of Brunei Youth Council and President of Green Brunei Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari; Youth Representative from Jerudong International School cum Executive Committee Member of Growth Brunei Zoe Chan Zhi Yi; Environment Officer of Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation at the Ministry of Development Muhd Fakhrurazi bin Haji Salleh; and marine biologist and Secretary of Reef Check Emily Yong.

Moderating the dialogue was Country Manager and Head of Environmental Solutions Brunei DHI Water and Environment (B) Sdn Bhd and President of BruWILD Liaw Lin Ji.

The dialogue touched on how a country can mitigate the impact of climate change and building a resilsent community.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Corporate and Law) at the Ministry of Development and Co-Chair of the Working Committee for Brunei MYCE 2022 for Climate Action Week, Aldila binti Haji Mohamad Salleh was the guest of honour.

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