New year, new climate resolutions!
A Happy New Year to all! This past year has been one of cautious promise on the climate front with the COP27 and COP15 climate and biodiversity talks, as well as Singapore’s commitment to net-zero by 2050. Yet, as the effects of climate change continue to intensify, with the spate of extreme weather events around the world only increasing, this further behooves climate organisations like ourselves to keep up the good fight and keep our governments accountable to their promises, while pushing for more climate action.
As we enter the New Year, if you’re the type of person to come up with New Year Resolutions, we only ask that you remember our planet and resolve to take at least one action to combat the climate crisis. Look out for more plans from us, and thank you for your continued support! We have a planet to win in this new year, so let’s get to it!
For a better world,
SG Climate Rally
At our year-end general meeting, we at SGCR reflected on our feelings about the climate crisis in the form of drawings. As expected, there was a lot of anxiety about it, but also some nascent hope and fight in us. We at SGCR believe that there is still hope, and we look forward to exploring new ways to empower communities to act in the coming year.
Also, in line with our current theme, Resolutions and Revolutions, we wrote about how amongst the eye-catching protest marches and soup-throwing at paintings, the oft-neglected ‘quiet activism’ is just as vital to achieving social change as well. Such acts include expressions of solidarity through contributing to mutual-aid funds, using social media to spread awareness, or everyday acts of resistance by victims of environmental injustice. The environmental crisis today requires a revolutionary change in the way we organise our society and political economy, and we need everyone’s efforts.
The Keystone pipeline has now leaked the most amount of oil than other pipelines in the US since 2010, amounting to almost 26,000 barrels of oil leaked after the most recent leak of 14,000 barrels of oil into a local waterway on 7 December. Despite affecting farming land and undergoing cleaning efforts, the pipeline has restarted in operations just days ago. The cause of the oil spills has not been publicly announced. While TC Energy carries on their business as usual, communities and the ecosystem are affected by Keystone’s third major spill in 5 years in the long-term.
The spate of extreme weather events in 2022 concluded with a monster blizzard that swept across the United States, in particular killing more than 30 people in Buffalo, New York. Snowstorms are usual at this time of the year, but the severity of the storm caught people and emergency services off guard, with power outages and icy roads proving fatal. Experts continue to caution that climate change will exacerbate the effects of such extreme weather.
At the COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal, a global deal was reached to secure 30 per cent of the planet as a protected zone by 2030, with US$30 billion in yearly conservation aid promised for the developing world. Experts said it was a “good success” and likened as a Paris Agreement for biodiversity conservation, though they said more funding could have been made available by developed countries for the developing countries.
Research by Trase showed that despite zero-deforestation commitments, soy production still resulted in 562,000 ha of deforestation in Brazil in 2020. Singapore-based Olam Group, one of the top five soy traders there, was responsible for 24,200 ha of deforestation in 2020 — almost 150 times the area of tree cover lost in Singapore the same year. Temasek is the majority shareholder of Olam. If we care about the forests being cleared at home, perhaps we should extend the same care to the forests being cleared with our money too.
Do you recycle your plastics religiously? An investigation by Bloomberg found that the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), a non-profit based in Singapore, has made negligible impact despite promising to invest $1.5 billion to “eliminate plastic waste”. The petrochemical companies that dominate its leadership and funding have pushed it to promote recycling at the individual level while steering it away from reducing production, which would tackle the root of the problem.
The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) has appointed the government’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Lim Tuang Liang. He is currently MSE’s chief science and technology officer (CSTO). Lim is expected to oversee a whole-of-government push for sustainability such as the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and the Public Sector Sustainability Office, as well as the GreenGov.SG initiative.
There’s a lot of pessimism surrounding the climate crisis, but sometimes we need to remember it’s not all doom and gloom. The New Republic sums up some wins that the climate movement had in 2022. Also on TNR, Kate Aronoff makes the case for how a four-day work week can help in reducing commercial energy consumption, which goes a long way towards reducing emissions, and gives us a long weekend too (no complaints from us!)
Several degrowth scholars have published an article outlining several policies a degrowth strategy could adopt, and what strategies are needed to support these policies, including funding of public services and movement-building. Lastly, Jacobindetails how BlackRock, one of the world’s most established investment asset managers, tout ESG investments but simultaneously lobby against regulations which would assess these investments more stringently.
Copyright © 2021 SGClimateRally, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.
Our mailing address is:
10 College Ave West, #01-101, Singapore 138609
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.