Singapore digest news (14.11-19.11)

Photo by Anna Smirnova

World leaders need to strengthen trading system to allow countries unimpeded access to energy and food: PM Lee

At the G20 summit on Tuesday (Nov 15), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called on world leaders to strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system and collectively accelerate net-zero ambitions.

This is needed to tackle global food and energy insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, said Mr Lee on the first day of the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

“It is important that all countries continue to enjoy unimpeded access to energy, food and agricultural commodities, especially during crises,” he said, adding that Singapore takes its role as a trusted hub for logistics, transportation, and energy very seriously.


NUS makes list of global top 20 universities by reputation for first time

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has for the first time emerged as one of the world’s top 20 universities by reputation in a list topped by American Ivy League college Harvard.
NUS climbed to the 19th spot in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings released on Wednesday. It had held the 24th position in the table for the past four years.

“As Singapore’s flagship university, we remain focused on nurturing talent for our country, while developing innovative solutions to solve real-world problems for the betterment of society,” the representative of NUS said.


International Blue Carbon Institute to be set up in Singapore

An international institute that will help protect and restore coastal marine ecosystems across Southeast Asia and beyond will be set up in Singapore.

Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems, such as mangroves and tidal marshes. These ecosystems store large quantities of carbon in both the plants and the sediment below and are recognised as an essential part of the solution to global climate change.

"Southeast Asia, with its vast stretches of mangroves and coastal ecosystems, has tremendous potential for blue carbon initiatives that will also support environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and livelihoods and heritage of local communities," said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu at the launch.


Singapore joins global group aiming to reduce forest loss, support sustainable development

Singapore at the COP27 climate talks on Monday (Nov 7) joined a group of more than two dozen other countries that said would ensure they hold each other accountable for a pledge to end deforestation by 2030.

By joining the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) as a member country, Singapore “commits to working with other members and partners to develop high integrity markets for forestry carbon credits, while implementing innovative and environmentally robust solutions to reduce forest loss, increase restoration and support sustainable development", said the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) in a joint press release with the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Monday (Nov 7).


About 2.5 million Singaporeans to receive up to S$700 in December to help with rising costs

Eligible Singaporeans will receive up to S$700 in cash payouts next month, as part of measures to help them cope with the GST increase and rising cost of living, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced on Tuesday (Nov 15).

About 2.9 million adult Singaporeans will receive up to S$200 in cash under the Assurance Package, with about 2.5 million also eligible for the Cost-of-Living (COL) special cash payout of up to S$500. The payouts will be disbursed together, the ministry said.