, Singapore

Finance Minister Wong bares government’s plans to achieve green economy

Singapore is already reviewing the carbon tax to update the 2022 budget, Wong claims.

The government bared three major steps to ​​build a new green economy for Singapore in the next 30 years.

This was revealed by Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong in his speech during the CNS’s 2021 Singapore APEX Corporate Sustainability Awards Ceremony. 

Wong said the world needs to invest around $204.81t (USD$150t) over the next 30 years to “to rein in carbon emissions and switch to more sustainable energy sources,” and Singapore is doing the following to play their part in achieving the goal in a much shorter timeframe.

Wong said the government will put in place ​​carbon price and regulatory standards which he said are “two big levers” they can use to progressively decarbonise the economy.

So far, the government is already reviewing the carbon tax and will be updating it at the Budget in 2022.

There is also a plan to roll out standards for equipment appliances or even for motor vehicles, according to Wong.

Earlier, the government had already announced the phasing out of internal combustion engine vehicles and having all vehicles running on cleaner energy by 2040.

Wong also vowed to help businesses to shift towards more sustainable practices by creating programmes and schemes. AN example of this is the Enterprise Sustainability Programme.

“We expect to reach out to more than 6,000 enterprises over the next four years through this programme,” the finance ministers said.

The government's third plan is to “develop a robust financing eco-system to support the green transition.”

“Green efforts will need capital. And the government here, again, will take the lead in developing a robust green finance market by laying out the framework and rules, testing these out with government issuances for a start, and exploring ways to connect with different stakeholders. 

Wong said the government will lay out framework and rules, and “explore ways to connect to different stakeholders.”

“For example, the National Environment Agency will be establishing a $3 billion Multicurrency Medium Term Note Programme and the Green Bond Framework, to finance sustainable infrastructure projects, like this Integrated Waste Management Facility in Tuas,” the official said.

Wong’s ministry has also set up a Green Bonds Programme Office that aims to “catalyse the government’s green financing options.”

“All of these efforts will help to grow the supply and demand for green investments, and create a strong eco-system for sustainable financing and investing,” he said.

“Besides green financing, we also need a market for voluntary carbon credits. a. Because some companies may face difficulties eliminating emissions completely or quickly,” he added.

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