, Singapore

Climate agenda progress also depends on ‘international order’: PM Lee

Questions were raised about whether the Ukraine-Russia war has pushed off the climate agenda.

International order plays a part in how the world’s climate agenda progresses, according to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

This he said in response to a question on whether the Ukraine-Russia war has pushed off the world’s climate agenda.

“If you are at war with Russia, you will not be able to agree with Russia on reducing emissions, much less apportioning responsibility for cutting carbon,” Lee said in his Dialogue with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

“I think that is going to be a big problem even if you are not at war, even with China, where you have got dialogue and John Kerry works very hard visiting them and talking to them. Because your relations are so fraught, it is very difficult to make progress and you have explicitly said you are not prepared to trade off climate against other issues,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lee said mitigation efforts will be “inadequate” going forward as predictions have already been more extreme.

“First of all, mitigation, we do our part, but we know that we do not determine the outcome, and the world will not do enough. Therefore, we have to work on adaptation,” Lee said.

The PM likewise said he is “personally” prepared to do some pilot projects on new technologies that would “cool the planet” like geoengineering, but said doing so needs careful thinking.


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