Essay Competition

Climate Change - Are Tomorrow's Needs more Important than Today's Reality?

The climate change and sustainable development debate is very much defined by the 1987 Brundtland Commission Report. The key thrust of the Report is about the dilemma of “meet[ing] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The spirit of this Report lives on in the latest supranational climate change agreements and agendas, including the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Can countries, and the world, find that critical balance – in the climate change debate – between addressing today’s realities and the needs of tomorrow? This means taking into account issues of parity, ethics and accountability to future generations.

With the current COVID-19 situation continuing to evolve, as a precautionary measure, this event has been cancelled.


Terms & Conditions

  1. This essay competition is open to all NUS alumni and students, as well as students of all Singapore universities and polytechnics.
  2. Please submit your essay of 1,000 words or less as a PDF attachment in the following format.
    1. Font Type: Arial; Font Size: 12; Double-spacing
    2. Paper Size: A4 with 1-inch margin all round
  3. Please indicate the following clearly in the footer of every page:
    1. Page Number
    2. Full Name
    3. Faculty, Current Year of Study and Matriculation Number (for NUS students); OR
    4. School, Faculty, Current Year of Study (for non-NUS students); OR
    5. Faculty and Year of Graduation (for NUS alumni)
  4. Charts, images and illustrations should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
    Please insert them as Annexes with clear labelling, and not as part of the main essay.
  5. Please submit your essay online by 29 February 2020 (Saturday), 11.59pm (UTC/GMT +8).
  6. Only one submission per participant will be accepted. For multiple submissions, the latest essay received by the closing date and time will be treated as final and all earlier submissions by the same participant will be disregarded.
  7. A multi-authored essay will be treated as one single submission. If it wins, only one prize will be awarded and one author will be invited to present the ideas on stage. The remaining author(s) are welcome to participate at the event as part of the audience.
  8. Essays will be assessed on the quality of the participant’s ideas, structure and critical analysis of the issue.
  9. The decision of the assessment panel is final. No questions or appeals will be entertained.
  10. Winners will be contacted by mid-March 2020 via the same email address used for submission. Participants may provide a telephone number as an alternative means of contact.
  11. Participants should avail themselves for the U@live event on 14 April 2020 from 6pm onwards. In the event that the student winner of this essay competition is unable to join the panel on stage, this opportunity will be offered to the next best student submission.
  12. All submissions will become the property of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and may be reproduced in part or in whole for academic, research and education purposes, with credit of authorship where appropriate.

By participating in this U@live essay competition, participants hereby accept the above Terms and Conditions, and consent to the National University of Singapore collecting, using and/or disclosing their personal data to third parties (including any third party located outside of Singapore) for the purposes of processing, handling and managing their participation in this essay competition and event stated herein.