Conversation on SG Green Plan: Towards a Sustainable Future (Session 5)
Conversation on Singapore Green Plan: Towards a Sustainable Future
MOE and NYC co-organised a hybrid dialogue on the Singapore Green Plan 2030 on 30 June 2022, involving 54 physical participants, 142 virtual participants and the following speakers:
- Ms Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State, Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Manpower (MOM);
- Ms Leow Lay May, Director, Energy Division, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI);
- Ms Cassandra Yip, President of Student Energy, National University of Singapore (NUS) and PAYM Council Member; and
- Ms Ondrea Wong, Deputy Chairman of Project Committee, Student Council, Institute of Technological Education (ITE) College Central
Over 190 participants attended the MOE x NYC Conversation on Singapore Green Plan 2030. (PHOTO: NYC)
Speakers at the dialogue included the Minister of State, Energy Division Director at MTI, and student representatives from NUS and ITE College Central. (PHOTO: NYC)
Here are the key insights of the panel dialogue:
Achieving the SG Green Plan’s goals is a collective responsibility
Youths asked why they should care about the Green Plan, and how they might benefit from the nation’s overarching goals.
- MOS Gan said that global warming effects such as rising temperatures and sea levels are real world challenges and Singapore, being a small island state, is at greater risk of climate change. It is thus crucial for Singapore to act now by addressing these challenges together with the global community.
- She said that the Green Plan had immediate impacts on Singaporeans, such as influencing transportation options (e.g. phasing out combustible vehicles) and changing the job landscape (e.g. increase in jobs that align with environmental goals).
- MOS Gan said that the Green Plan would provide opportunities for Singapore to differentiate itself from other countries, and youths would benefit from the expanded areas of economic growth (e.g. green finance) and transformation of existing industries.
Youths were concerned that the contributions made by individuals were insignificant compared to the actions taken by corporations and the Government.
- Ms Yip and Ms Leow encouraged youths to not be quick to dismiss individual action because on a collective scale, individuals could influence change.
- Ms Leow said that politicians and corporations will take heed of Singaporeans’ choices and aspirations, and each individual’s choice could result in significant impact (e.g. Individuals could take up green jobs to make a difference through their work, while employers could implement environmentally sustainable practices at the workplace.)
Upcoming opportunities in the green economy, and how youths can better prepare themselves to capitalise on green job opportunities
Youths asked what “green jobs” were, and what were some opportunities in the green economy.
- Ms Yip said that “green jobs” are existing roles that incorporate sustainability elements that help achieve green goals. She said that companies are looking for candidates who are passionate about sustainability and have a global perspective of green trends.
- MOS Gan shared that green skills are becoming increasingly important based on the findings of the report “Skills Demand for the Future Economy” by SkillsFutureSG, with more than 450 job roles requiring green skills emerging across 17 sectors within the local economy.
Youths asked how they could better prepare for the green market.
- MOS Gan said that to address the demand for green skills, Universities, Polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education (ITE) have introduced new courses and programmes in sustainability-related fields.
- Ms Leow said that the green economy is developing quickly, and what youths learn in school will have to be supplemented with on-the-job training. She encouraged youths who were already working to explore courses that provided on-the-job training to develop relevant skills in climate finance via the Singapore Green Finance Centre.
Increasing youth awareness on environmental issues and encouraging youth participation in sustainability initiatives
Youths asked about the current efforts towards raising awareness on environmental issues.
- MOS Gan said that the Eco Stewardship Programme carried out across all schools aim to instil an environmentally conscious mindset in students from young. She said that schools’ infrastructure will also be enhanced to reduce their net carbon emissions by two-thirds by 2030.
- Ms Wong said that within ITE College Central, students used social media to reach a broad youth audience on sustainability issues. She said that it is also important to deepen youths’ awareness through face-to-face discussions.
- Ms Yip said that complex and scientific environmental issues could be broken down into easy-to-understand lessons for children and youth. She said that the Earth School Singapore covers different curricula, such as plastics or circular economy, tailored to different age ranges.
Panellists encouraged youths to take individual action to support the Green Plan goals.
- Ms Yip encouraged youths to discover what they are passionate about, as everyone would have their unique experiences that influence their environmental journey.
- Ms Wong called for youths to lead by action, and said that taking the first step is a simple way to encourage others to do more for sustainable development.
- Ms Leow said that whether as a consumer, employee, or leader, one’s choices will lead to impact.
- MOS Gan said that challenges facing the environment will continually evolve, and there are many questions that corporations and the Government do not have an answer to. She said a Whole-of-Society approach is required to find solutions collectively, and every individual action would make a difference.
Graphical capture of the context setting and closing:
Graphical capture of the panel discussion: