FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Could bonds buoy Singapore from rising sea levels?

Government bonds could fund its $100b effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Singapore is weighing the usage of bonds and reserves to fund its $100b effort to combat rising sea levels and mitigate the effects of climate change, Bloomberg reports.

In the short-term, funding for projects such as a $400m upgrade to the city-state’s drainage systems to boost flood resilience will come from ministry-level expenditures, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said in an interview on Wednesday. Longer term spending, he said, could require the government to tap its national reserves and issue state bonds.

“For those that have to be spent that will benefit future generations, we’re talking about borrowing so that whatever we spend for the future will also be paid for by the future generations,” Masagos told Bloomberg TV’s Haslinda Amin. “$100b is actually a lot of money even if spent over 100 years.”

The climate change push was a key prong of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally address on Sunday where he urged Singaporeans that “everything else must bend at the knee to safeguard” the country. He said all new developments will have to be built at least four meters (13 feet) above sea level, while the government will also consider building polders to protect existing low-lying areas and reclaiming land for offshore islands.

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