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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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It is possible to strike a balance between economic growth and environment protection, and create a liveable and lively Singapore city, said Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.

He added that access to clean air continues to be one of the key requisites for a liveable city and this requires concerted effort from all stakeholders.

Opening Speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources at the Better Air Quality 2010 (BAQ 2010) Conference on “Air Quality in a Changing Climate” on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, 9.00 am, at Suntec Singapore Convention Center.

Read more: Singapore Outlines Effort To Achieve Better Air Quality

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