Singapore youth views: what would you tell world leaders at COP21 about climate change?

Singapore youth views: what would you tell world leaders at COP21 about climate change?

Young Post, and six other youth publications from around the world, asked readers to answer two questions about environmental issues. Here are their responses.

The questions we asked

1 If you could give a speech to the world leaders at COP 21, what would you say?
2 What do you usually do to help the environment?

Eloise Lim Yiying, 16, Temasek Junior College

Photo: The Straits Times

1 To curb climate change, we must not see ourselves as individual countries but mankind as a whole. If world leaders act in solidarity and put the environment at top priority, we have the power to prevent this imminent threat to humanity. Longevity to the Earth!”

2 I can be more productive during the day to save electricity at night. Many students stay up late at night to do unproductive activities like playing computer games. When I reduce these activities, I not only lead a lower carbon lifestyle but also have more time to sleep.

 

 


Nicholas Phung-Zhang, 16, Hwa Chong Institution

Photo: Straits Times

1 You have spent billions of dollars collectively for election campaigns. With that same amount of money, you could donate to planet saving efforts. If we don't have a good planet for us to live in, what is the use of elections anymore? Pledges are useless if you do not back them up with action and so are empty words and promises. The state of the world belongs to you and to us in the future. Do not just say you care, do something. Surely you do not wish for the world to end?”

2 I personally try to do the best I can, but I still believe my actions are little. For example, I changed all the light bulbs at home to LED bulbs.  For the past two years, I also have been actively involved in raising awareness. Since last year, I have been in my school's green council to try to get the school students to save energy and help out the environment. This year, I was in charge of the Facebook page of the school green council. I re-posted and shared at least once a day on posts by Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund and Forests Stewardship Council etc, as long as they carry messages regarding climate change.


Sophia Lim Shuen, 17, Anglo-Chinese Junior College

Photo: Straits Times

1 I think that it’s a very good idea to have this conference! But I feel that the punishments set for the countries may need to be flexible because some punishments may not be effective for different countries.

2 I will encourage those around me to practice the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). And I will try my best to set a good example by being “green” in daily life. If we don't practice what we preach, then they would just ignore us!

 

 


 

Megan Gail Morais, 17, Catholic Junior College

Photo: Straits Times

1 I would encourage leaders of developed countries to focus on the needs of developing countries since they may not have sufficient resources to change their environmental practices. 

In order to ensure implementation of carbon reduction measures is effective, it is important that developed countries share their expertise or set up mechanisms to help other countries out. We should also be setting reasonable targets for each country based on their varying situations.

2 Right now I try to take public transport or walk to wherever I’m going instead of taking private transport. However, I will be making more of an effort to use my air-conditioner less frequently in future.


Armand Junwen, 17, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Photo: Straits Times

1 Haze from Indonesia affects us every year. I will ask them what they would do to help us cope with this issue, and how the haze and their efforts would affect the climate as a whole.”

2 I can start by changing the light bulbs in my home to fluorescent ones. Also, when I buy a car in the future, I will try to buy those that run on CNG (compressed natural gas).

 

 

 

 


Charlotte Chua Shao Min, 17, Singapore Polytechnic

Photo: Straits Times

1 I would emphasise on the importance of the leaders’ role in this as they are the ones that can truly inspire change and impose methods to to reduce carbon emissions.”

I believe that each individual’s contribution will go a long way in helping to reduce carbon emissions. So, for myself, I use energy saving light bulbs. These not only last longer but in the long run but also cut energy wastage by three quarters. When not in use, I make sure all electrical appliances are turned off. Also, I take showers as they use less energy as compared to taking baths.

 


Claire Hsieh Jih Hsyang, 15, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ Secondary School

Photo: Straits Times

1 Please don’t think only about your country, but also about the world.  As world leaders, you have a responsibility to get your job done.”

2 I will take public transport instead of travelling by car. I will try not to switch on the air conditioning at night to sleep.

 

 

 


Soh Wen Shuen, 15, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ Secondary School

Photo: Straits Times

1 You must work together to minimise the negative effects of global warming and climate change. If each of you contributes the power of your individual countries, it would make a significant impact for humanity.

2 I can walk to school instead of taking a car to school. I can also minimise my water usage and paper usage.

 

 


Muhammad Khair Mas’od, 17, Catholic Junior College

Photo: Straits Times

1 I would say that environmental conservation is a really important thing because it not only affects us but also animals who are losing their homes. Biodiversity is also important for education - if animals and plants are destroyed, it will lead to extinction and the future generations to come will not be able to enjoy the plants and animals that we see today.

2 My family does not have an air-conditioner and we are not planning on getting one because we do not want to waste energy. Also, we do not own a car and we utilise public transport, which reduces our carbon footprint.

 


Hannah Lim Ray Min, 17, Anglo-Chinese Junior College

Photo: Straits Times

1 This conference is useful and I am hopeful that the climate change issues can be resolved here. You should organise more events or programmes to involve the community and raise awareness about conserving the environment.

2 I always switch off the lights when I'm not using it. I reuse plastic bags instead of throwing them away after using them only once.

 

 


Immanuel Tan U-Jay, 17, Anglo-Chinese Junior College

Photo: Straits Times

1 As world leaders, if all of you make use of every available funds and resources, a solution for climate change could be found.

2 I take public transport instead of using taxi to travel. When there is a jam, I remind my parents to turn off the engine when possible.

 

 

 


Aretha Sawarin Chinnaphongse, 17, Anglo-Chinese Junior College

Photo: Straits Times

1 I will talk about global warming, and about the factories that release a lot of chemicals and rubbish into the rivers and the air. I would also tell them about all the animals going extinct. I think the laws enforced for breaching the environmental contracts should be more strict, to prevent countries from disregarding such laws.

2 I would recycle more, be it papers, or anything that I can. I would also reduce the usage of plastics and also use my air conditioner less, even though it may be difficult. Use a fan!

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