Strong voices in the battle for climate unity / Columns / The Foreigner

Strong voices in the battle for climate unity. Which small country with shipping as an economic base is concerned about climate change and sustainability? Norway, but also Singapore. I had the privilege of visiting Singapore in January to discuss cooperation on climate change. With academics, the government, and others, I presented the Many Strong Voices programme that I co-direct with Norway's GRID-Arendal institution. Many Strong Voices brings together the peoples of the Arctic and Small Island Developing States to meet the challenges of climate change.

climatechange, norwayclimate



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



Columns Article

LATEST:

Strong voices in the battle for climate unity

Published on Saturday, 23rd February, 2013 at 10:00 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

Which small country with shipping as an economic base is concerned about climate change and sustainability? Norway, but also Singapore.

Singapore at night
Singapore at night
Photo: Ilan Kelman


I had the privilege of visiting Singapore in January to discuss cooperation on climate change. With academics, the government, and others, I presented the Many Strong Voices programme that I co-direct with Norway's GRID-Arendal institution.

Many Strong Voices brings together the peoples of the Arctic and Small Island Developing States to meet the challenges of climate change.

Singapore is classified as a Small Island Developing State and has recently shown keen interest in the Arctic, and solidarity with indigenous peoples there, as climate change starts to affect northern latitudes.

It seems to be a natural partnership. But I had my doubts after taking off from Oslo at -15 degrees Celsius and landing in Singapore at +30 degrees Celsius.

Another major difference is that Norway is currently a major fossil fuel producer and continually seeks more. By comparison, Singapore has few natural resources, instead focusing on financial services and high-tech industries.

Aside from the climatic and resource disparities, could other major differences be bridged?

That was not a problem, because I found remarkable similarities. Norway and Singapore have nearly identical population numbers enjoying a high quality of life and comparative affluence.

Both are known for honesty and competence. Each has strong domestic and international sustainability programmes including in sectors such as water and energy.

Norway and Singapore are also world leaders in development cooperation with other countries. Key elements of their international development strategies are training officials in less affluent countries, and building up local capabilities so that others can help themselves.

Both countries recognise how vulnerable the Arctic and tropical islands are to climate change. Both realise that the peoples living in those regions have immense abilities to help their own communities, but ask for some supplemental external support that Norway and Singapore can provide.

The common climate change challenge brings many people and countries together, despite distance and differences.

Dr. Ilan Kelman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO).



Published on Saturday, 23rd February, 2013 at 10:00 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: climatechange, norwayclimate.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!