Over the past week, there has been extensive news coverage of the COP26 climate change summit. Leaders of more than 100 countries have come together to make pledges to fight climate change.
This is heartening news, but I wonder if the man in the street knows how all these high-level talks and pledges affect his daily life or how he, too, can do his part to fulfil those pledges.
When the leaders go home, they need to translate the pledges into actions involving individuals.
In the Singapore context, one example would be taking more decisive steps to cut down the use of plastic shopping bags and food containers. Supermarkets and eateries currently charge an amount that ranges from 10 cents to 50 cents. This should be raised to at least $1 to make consumers really feel the pinch.
It will take actions that significantly affect people’s lives for them to wake up to the seriousness of the climate crisis.
Otherwise, the pledges made at COP26 will remain the words of leaders, while the man in the street assumes that the responsibility for fighting climate change lies with his government.
Lee Yim May