Connecting the Arctic & Asia through Climate Actions and Sustainable Development [fr]
The conference "Connecting the Arctic & Asia through Climate Actions and Sustainable Development" was held at Gardens by the Bay on 3th May 2018. It was organized by the Institut francais de Singapour in the framework of the exhibition “Touched by the Cold” by the photographer Michel RAWICKI, as part of Voilah! French Festival to show the impact of global warming on both South-East Asia and the Arctic, two distinct regions but connected through this issue.
It attracted diplomats from 20 countries, energy and climate experts from Singaporean universities and French companies working closely on environmental issues.
His Excellency Marc Abensour, the Ambassador of France to Singapore welcomed Ms Amy Hing, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources in Singapore and Mrs Barbara Plinkert, the EU Ambassador, each of whom highlighted their respective portfolios. France, together with the EU, has undertaken strong commitments to reduce its GES, as part of a collective goal, set up by the 2015 Paris Agreement, to keep the rise of global temperatures to below 1.5°C or 2°C over the course of the 21st century.
France leads a few ambitious initiatives to tackle climate change and support sustainable development such as the
One Planet Summit held in Paris in last December which mobilised world leaders to make strong commitments,
Global Pact for the Environment whose framework is currently being negotiated at the UN; an international initiative that aims to harmonize and simplify environmental laws internationally and
International Solar Alliance whose main objective is to raise 1 trillion US$ to provide affordable access to solar energy for all 121 inter-tropical countries.
In addition, France is a party to the Treaty of Washington (1959) and is an observer at the Arctic Council. France is one of the 7 sovereign states to claim a territory in the Antarctic and actively promotes the protection of marine resources and also encourages biodiversity through the creation of 7 Marine Protected Areas on the Antarctic East together with Australia and the EU.
Ms Amy Hing highlighted Singapore’s 2018 goals in the framework of the Year of Climate Action. Singapore is committed to achieving its goals under the Paris Agreement and is taking steps to mitigate and build resilience against climate change. Businesses, communities and individuals also have an important role to play in reducing the carbon footprint and to build a sustainable future by reducing waste generation, optimizing air quality and using electricity and water efficiently. Moreover, Singapore is strongly in favour of environment protection and that of the Arctic marine fauna and flora, especially for migratory species.
Two presentations were given by Professor Mikaa Mered of the French Free Institute of International Relations Studies and Professor Philip Andrews-Speed, Senior Principal Fellow at NUS Energy Studies Institute. Both of them provided insights into their research and the links between the Arctic, South-East Asian and Pacific economies in view of climate change and energy development policies.
Mika Mered is a Professor of Arctic and Antarctic Economics and Geopolitics. He is, among other things, a member of the Scientific Committee for the Antarctic Research’s Humanities and Social Sciences Expert Group and contributes as an external expert on the Arctic to the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency. Based on a map analysis he gave the attendees a deeper insight of how climate change affects Arctic economies.
Professor Philip ANDREWS-SPEED has 35 years experiences in the field of energy and resources, starting his career as a mineral and oil exploration geologist before moving into the field of energy and resource governance. His main research interest is the political economy of energy and resource governance, at the national, regional and global scales. His presentation touched on global energy perspectives and carbon emission issues.
The conference ended with a Question and Answer session and a networking cocktail.