Suraendher Kumarr, the activist behind SG Climate Rally, thinks that Singapore doesn’t take climate change seriously enough. In order to go green, Shell must fall.
Shell is one of the largest players in the oil and gas sector which accounts for 45% of Singapore’s carbon emissions. Shell itself has more than 3,200 employees in Singapore, yet it is not doing its part in being environmentally friendly. Although they have a 10-year plan to cut its own carbon dioxide emissions, they have not had much concrete actions for it – they have yet to reduce their carbon footprint. Another one of those big firms that’s all talk but no action.
Shell continues to get away with their emissions because of the low taxes imposed on them. Suraendher records that they paid only $49 million (~2%) in taxes despite generating $2.3 billion in profits. The recent petrol hike by the government only affects PHV and food delivery drivers, it doesn’t affect petrochemical giants like them.
“the true polluters are petrochemical companies and that they are not paying their fair share of taxes. This is in stark contrast to the government’s recent move to increase the price of petrol, affecting app-based gig workers, truckers, and waged drivers, disproportionately.”
– Suraendher Kumarr
What’s more, people keep investing in the petrochemical sector even though it is irresponsible. Universities like NUS and NTU put a portion of their endowment fund in the petrochemical sector. Suraendher also reminds us that when 2 students had a climate strike, they were clamped down by the police.
The government must not let big petrochemical firms like Shell get away. Many people underestimate the importance of climate change, but it is a bread and butter issue. Companies like shell is destructing earth in the worst ways possible, and the system is enabling it. The government needs to stop the unfair taxes.
Even if Shell is a big company and many people will lose their jobs, this is a short-term issue. We need to be environmentally responsible for our children’s future. Shell is a big company, but it must fall.