More than 50,000 job opportunities are to be created over the next decade in Singapore, as the city-state pursues sustainable development and a green coronavirus recovery. These projections were announced by Singapore’s Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) at the end of last month.
Following up on President Halimah Yacob’s address at the opening of Singapore’s 14th parliament, which promised a “major push for sustainable growth” in the city, Grace Fu, the government’s minister for sustainability and environment said that it expects this plan to create at least 4,000 “new and upgraded” jobs within the year. Fu added that this figure will grow to more than 50,000 over the next ten years, as reported by CNA.
“In a global landscape characterised by pandemics, climate change, and resource constraints, sustainability has become increasingly important,” Fu said in her announcement, which stressed that a green recovery and long-term development must be prioritised to ensure the success of current and future generations of Singaporeans.
“It has always been part of Singapore’s DNA. But we will push for it to be at the heart of our plans, policies and processes.”
In a global landscape characterised by pandemics, climate change, and resource constraints, sustainability has become increasingly important.Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability & Environment
Jobs created as a result of sustainable development include skilled work in high-tech agriculture and aquaculture industry, training food hygiene officers at food establishments, and broadening sanitation and waste management opportunities. The MSE will additionally offer scholarships for those interested in the areas of climate adaptation and climate science to foster more local talent to enter the sustainability workforce.
One of the key areas that the MSE will target is food security, particularly as the pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of global food supply chains. Earlier this year, the Singapore government decided to invest a further SGD30 million (US$21 million) to promote domestic output on top of its original plans to boost local production capacity from 10% to 30% by 2030 as a part of its climate action plan.
“While our food supply has remained stable, we have launched the 30×30 Express grant to support agri-food players to accelerate local food production over the next six to 24 months,” said Fu.
We will encourage and support companies to reduce their carbon footprint and explore new private-public collaborations to make Singapore a leading example of how economic prosperity and environmental sustainability can go hand-in-hand.Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability & Environment
The minister further highlighted decarbonisation incentives as a part of its approach to develop and rebuild from the pandemic sustainably. “We will encourage and support companies to reduce their carbon footprint and explore new private-public collaborations to make Singapore a leading example of how economic prosperity and environmental sustainability can go hand-in-hand.”
These plans come after the Singapore government’s initial taskforce aimed at setting out a coronavirus economic rebuilding strategy came under criticism over the exclusion of sustainable business and female voices.
Many experts and large corporations around the world have agreed that sustainability must come at the forefront of pandemic recovery plans. Earlier in May, over 150 multinationals worth US$2.4 trillion – among them Unilever, H&M and Adobe – signed a joint statement to urge governments all over the world to align their recovery efforts with climate science and called for net-zero emissions to be at the heart of all coronavirus rebuilding packages.
Current climate science is clear that the world must put an end to the destruction of nature if we are to have a chance at avoiding deadlier and more frequent pandemics and climate-related disasters.
Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.