On 24 April, Thursday, 350 Singapore organised a Youth Dialogue titled ” Climate Change: UNFCC – ADP Negotiation”.

The event was attended by 46 participants, a mixture of youths, policy makers and members of the public.

The first speaker, Ms. Melissa Low, Research Associate from the Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore, gave an overview of the climate change negotiations and in particular the Durban Platform talks that will lead up to the Paris COP21 where a new climate agreement is expected to be reached.

Ms. Low explained the significance of past Conference of Parties (COPs) in getting the negotiations to where it is today. In recent years, these are the Marrakesh, Bali, Copenhagen, Cancun, and Durban COPs. She also shared her position on the likely outcome of  2015 climate agreement to be agreed in Paris.

The second speaker was Mr. Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Adaptation Policy Advisor, Global Climate & Energy Initiative with WWF International.

Mr. Rai spoke on the adaptation landscape in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and outlined key findings of the IPCC Working Group II on “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”.

He cautioned that if we continue with business-as-usual, the world will head towards a 5-6 degree Celsius pathway and likely causing irreversible loss and damage. It is therefore urgent and important that we take action today in order to mitigate adaptation needs of the future.

In his speech, an important observation resonated with the audience: 63% of respondents are practicing climate-friendly actions but they do it mainly to save money. This was an issue later revisited in the discussion, with some participants noting that convenience is a key factor in enabling the everyday Singaporean to contribute towards addressing climate change.

The third and last speaker for the evening was Mr. Yuen Sai Kuan, Director of the 3P Division at the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) under the Prime Minister’s Office.

Mr. Yuen gave an overview of the survey commissioned by the NCCS in 2013 which interviewed 1,000 Singaporean residents aged 15 and above. The aim of the survey was the find out respondents’ knowledge, attitudes and practices on climate change.

Following the speakers, this dialogue introduced a segment led by student moderators. The students hailed from a variety of public and private schools in Singapore, including the Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore American School, St. Joseph’s Institution International and Republic Polytechnic.

Some key issues raised by the students are the need for better and more role models for inspiring change in society. The youths also discussed how business and industry are participating in the climate change negotiations and how this sector can contribute towards the solution.

L-to-R (clockwise): Ms. Catherine Li, Mr. Sandeep Chamling Rai, Mr. Yuen Sai Kuan, Ms. Melissa Low, Ms. Natasha Vincent, Ms. Reshmaa Balaji and Ms. Zeng Shan

L-to-R (clockwise): Ms. Catherine Li, Mr. Sandeep Chamling Rai, Mr. Yuen Sai Kuan, Ms. Melissa Low, Ms. Natasha Vincent, Ms. Reshmaa Balaji and Ms. Zeng Shan

For the full summary of the dialogue, read the summary report here: http://unfcccecosingapore.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/youth-dialogue-on-climate-change-summary-report/#more-4506

For further information, refer to Melissa’s blog: http://unfcccecosingapore.wordpress.com/