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A post I posted in SSS1207 Natural Heritage of Singapore IVLE Forum

Donald Trump is seeking quick ways of withdrawing from a global agreement to limit climate change, a source on his transition team said, defying widening international backing for the plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Trump, who has called global warming a hoax and has promised to quit the Paris Agreement, was considering ways to bypass a theoretical four-year procedure for leaving the accord, according to the source, who works on Trump’s transition team for international energy and climate policy.
Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/donald-trump-looking-at-fast-ways-to-quit-global-climate-deal-source





So what's the Paris agreement?
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework will be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. The Agreement also provides for enhanced transparency of action and support through a more robust transparency framework.
The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
In 2018, Parties will take stock of the collective efforts in relation to progress towards the goal set in the Paris Agreement and to inform the preparation of NDCs.
There will also be a global stocktake every 5 years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties. 
Source: http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php

You guys can read the summary of the Paris Agreement here: http://bigpicture.unfccc.int/#content-the-paris-agreemenThere's also the document of the full agreement in different languages available on the UNFCCC website.

As of now, 109 Parties have ratified of 197 Parties to the Convention.Singapore has signed in April and also ratified in September in 2016. :)
The statuses of ratification of each country can be seen here.
http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9444.php



What I'm pleased to see is that there are more people becoming aware and trying to help through various methods, such as global petitions. I'm not sure if the leaders actually listen to these petitions, but I guess we could still give it a try. Haha
https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/protect_half_our_planet_42/?bRlDoib&v=83998&cl=11080883092&_checksum=2e9cb746bf104860feeb28a38c8fae1d4d820d82e3710fbc023bebee0a3f0daa


So what I think about this whole thing is: the first step to save the Earth is to actually recognise that this climate change and global warming issues is REAL. Unfortunately, the next POTUS thinks it is a hoax, and is looking for a way to quit the Paris agreement. I think the involvement of USA in such agreements is really crucial, because it's one of the biggest economies, and they contribute so much to the carbon footprint and pollution.

I am thankful that the leaders of Singapore recognise the problem, and Singapore does try to balance economic development with nature conservation. But I think it's not really sufficient. We already have so little nature left, but we are still running out of land and space, so it is very worrying that eventually our forests and corals might have to give way to buildings and housing (I hope not).

The things we can do are really little, but they are significant. Every little effort to help save the environment helps. We don't have to be researchers or scientists to help. I urge everyone to develop a heart for caring for the environment, and pass it on to the people around you. Humans are parasites of the Earth. We eat off the Earth, kill the flora and fauna. And we have done nothing for the enironment since we are just trying to make up for the damage we caused. Anyway, if we create less rubbish, use less disposable items, use less electricity, stop buying new phones even though our current phones are still functional, use recyclable items, use rechargeable batteries, all these takes little effort yet helps us to save money. So why not, right?

I hope Singapore can become more environmentally friendly, and learn from countries like South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. There are things that I've noticed from daily life that Singapore still lacking in. Did you know Taiwan achieved a recycling rate of 55% in 2015? (http://www.wsj.com/articles/taiwan-the-worlds-geniuses-of-garbage-disposal-1463519134) I think Singapore needs to educate the citizens to sort their own rubbish. This would also mean less work for the people recycling the trash, right? Right now, what we have downstairs of the HDB flats is a large blue recycling with no separation of paper, metal, plastic items. I remember during lecture, Dr Choong said that people have proposed to incentify efforts to save the environment, but isn't it our duty to do it? Having a healthier Earth would be the best incentive. I agree, and I even think having a punishment system would be better. Or maybe we can implement both stick and carrot, whatever is more effective. In many developed countries it is illegal to mix garbage and lawbreakers face punishments. For example, in Brussels, Belgium, over 1,000 persons were penalized for not sorting their garbage between October 2007 and November 2008.
We also need a better system to recycle batteries. Right now, they say that it's okay to dispose the batteries together with the trash because the mercury(?) content is low. But we use batteries in so many things, the accumulation of all the batteries from all the households in Singapore will still have an impact. Currently, only laptop and mobile phone battery recycling services are available. (http://www.nea.gov.sg/energy-waste/3rs/e-waste-lamp-battery-recycling/lamp-battery-recycling)I kind of collected my used batteries in a small box, but after that, when I Googled on how to recycle batteries, I realised I couldn't, so I decided to use rechargeable batteries from then on.
I also realised there's no glass recycling because there are few items made of glass, but I think it would be better to place some glass recycling bins in places that are easily accessible. If not, all the chicken essence and birds' nest bottles would just go down the trash.

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