A recent survey in Singapore revealed that Singaporeans’ attitudes towards climate change have shifted: while the top reason for making climate-friendly choices in 2017 was to lower household bills, the new survey’s top reason is to “preserve a liveable world for future generations.”

The survey conducted by the National Climate Change Secretariat found that not only are more Singaporeans aware of the impact of climate change, they are also willing to make personal sacrifices to support a shift to a low-carbon economy. Respondents commented that they were prepared to suffer additional costs and inconveniences to mitigate the impact of climate change.

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The survey reflects the increasing global awareness about climate change and its consequences. Although 90% of respondents in 2017 said they were aware of climate change terminology, this has increased to 95% of respondents in 2019.

Furthermore, respondents in 2019 demonstrated an increased understanding of how climate change could impact the environment and lead to global stressors like disruptions to food supply. 

Even though more Singaporeans answered that they were taking more climate-friendly steps like switching off electrical appliances at wall sockets or conserving water, fewer Singaporeans took steps to reduce food waste or to keep track of food expiration dates. Thus, more steps can be taken to increase Singaporeans’ awareness of food wastage issues.

Finally, even though a significant number of Singaporeans agreed that they are willing to suffer inconveniences to tackle climate change, most commented that the government should lead the charge on climate change. The government is seen to be responsible for fostering collective action against climate change rather than the public.

Questions for further personal evaluation: 

  1. What do you think accounts for the increased awareness about climate change issues among Singaporeans?
  2. How we raise awareness about food waste issues in Singapore? What are some of the steps you take with regard to food waste?

Useful vocabulary: 

  1. ‘mitigate’: make less severe, serious or painful
  2. ‘collective’: belonging or relating to all the members of a group