SINGAPORE: From building more electric vehicle charging points to issuing more green bonds to fund public sector green infrastructure projects, Singapore is taking steps to “move decisively” towards a net-zero world.
Delivering his Budget speech on Friday (Feb 18), Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said the path towards net-zero will entail “significant” economic restructuring and changes in how people live and work in future.
“All of us – the public, businesses, the government – will face difficult choices,” he said. “Costly investments may be required, for example, to import or generate low carbon energy.”
“But now is the time when we must move decisively towards the future of a net-zero world. This will allow us to tap fully on the many exciting possibilities in this green transition.”
GREENING SINGAPORE’S TRANSPORT
To make transport greener, Singapore will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).
During Budget 2020, Deputy Prime Minister and then-Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the country would gradually phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040.
Since then, the Government has provided “significant” incentives for EV adoption, said Mr Wong.
Last year, the EV share of new car registration jumped to around 4 per cent, up from 0.2 per cent in 2020, he added.
To keep up the momentum, Mr Wong announced that more EV charging points will be built closer to where people live.
“To do this, infrastructure upgrades will be necessary, and the financing can come from green bonds,” he said.
DEVELOPING A ROBUST GREEN FINANCE MARKET
Another area of focus for the country is green finance, which is currently one of the fastest-growing segments in the financial services sector. Singapore accounts for close to half of the ASEAN green bond and loan market.
“We aim to do more, so that banks and financial institutions will use Singapore as a base to develop their capabilities, and develop innovative green financial solutions to service their customers all over Asia and the world,” said Mr Wong.
To help develop a robust green finance market, Mr Wong announced that the government will issue S$35 billion of green bonds by 2030 to fund public sector green infrastructure projects. This is up from the S$19 billion of green bonds announced previously during last year’s Budget.
“This will include bonds issued by the government, as well as statutory boards. The government will also publish a Singapore Green Bond framework and issue its inaugural green bond later this year,” he added.
Source Channel News Asia
February 24, 2022