Published on 27 Mar 2021

Keen on green, but at what cost?

The Straits Times, page A22-23 -

The Singapore Green Plan 2030 is the nation's blueprint for a more sustainable future, but people here have differing views on green living and accepting the trade-offs that they face in the sustainability journey. NTU Prof Shirley Ho, who studies public opinion dynamics related to science, technology and the environment, says every effort matters, even if the carbon footprint of the individual is small compared with industry's environmental impact. This is because the green transition will affect people's personal lives, as the job losses in the oil industry have shown, she says.

Prof Ho, who is also NTU’s research director for arts, humanities, education and social sciences, says communication material for the Green Plan - such as the website and the video featuring five ministers - helped establish sustainability as a national priority by conveying the slate of government initiatives to meet the targets. But the next step would be to highlight how the plan will affect or benefit individuals or families in Singapore - especially since climate change is an impersonal issue for many here. Moreover, there is a gap between what will be done nationally and what individuals can do, she says.