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Singapore, January 23 - If you still think climate change is a far-fetched idea in Singapore, think again.

A leading global reinsurer not only believes the region has been feeling the full effects of global warming in the past century, but also feels the rate of change is faster than in many other regions.

The proof: The number of natural disasters seen in Southeast Asia, from floods to earthquakes, rose sharply from an annual average of 100 in the 1980s to 300 since the turn of the millennium.

A study released on Jan 4 by re-insurance giant Munich Re, a leading player in the market regionally, made this dire assessment.

Munich Re’s head of corporate climate centre Ernst Rauch said warming temperatures were the clearest sign of climate change’s toll. He was speaking to The Sunday Times at the insurer’s office in the Central Business District.

He said large land masses surrounding the region, such as India and China, contributed to temperatures rising at a faster rate.

Read more: Global warming effects on Singapore

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SINGAPORE: In 2010, climate change made its presence clearly known in Singapore.

Flash floods in particular spared no mercy on the island, leaving Orchard Road as one of the worst-hit areas.

But a massive operation is underway to protect the shopping belt, which is set to go full steam in January.

Flash floods hit Orchard Road not once but twice, resulting in million-dollar losses at the shopping belt.

The public and private sectors then embarked on a slew of preventive measures.

National water agency PUB is spending S$26 million to raise certain stretches of Orchard Road by 30 centimetres.

Work has since got off to a slow but tactical start due to the recent festive period.

Read more: Singapore braces for climate change

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Environmentalists must have pricked up their ears when Singapore last week declared its intention to put a price tag on carbon if all countries pledge to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

It is still early days yet. Such a global deal has not been struck and it is unclear just what form this carbon price will take. But the important thing is that the Republic is willing to play its part as a global citizen in putting a price on pollution, and is taking a vital step on the journey to energy diversity.

Read more: Carbon pricing in Singapore: Good first step on long road

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