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New Framework Rolled Out to Support Singapore’s Green Plan

Singapore is currently implementing efforts to make industrial production processes and energy usage more environmentally friendly and to improve energy efficiency. The Republic also aspires to become a sustainable tourism destination, as well as a carbon services hub and a centre for green finance, to help Asia’s sustainability efforts. This also entails ensuring that new carbon-intensive investments brought into Singapore are among the best-in-class in terms of carbon and energy efficiency.

The Green Economy, one of five key pillars of the new Green Plan, aims to seek green growth opportunities to create new jobs, transform Singapore’s industries and harness sustainability as a competitive advantage, the statement said.

With this objective, Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) recently launched an SGD 3 billion multicurrency medium-term note programme as well as a green bond framework to fund the development of sustainable waste management infrastructure.

The first such project is the new waste management facility, which is Singapore’s first integrated facility to treat incinerable waste, source-segregated food waste and dewatered sludge. “Issuance of green bonds will help develop green finance solutions and markets, supporting Singapore to become a leading centre for green finance in Asia, and around the world,” the NEA said in a media release on Tuesday. It is the first statutory board to issue green bonds in support of Singapore’s green finance market.

The waste management facility will be the country’s first to treat incinerable waste, source-segregated food waste, and dewatered sludge all at the same time. It will also be able to sort household recyclables collected through the national recycling programme. The facility will be co-located with the waste management facility’s Public Utility Boards to form Singapore’s first integrated solid waste and used water treatment facility, which will meet the country’s long-term solid waste management and used water treatment needs.

NEA’s chief executive officer says: “The establishment of NEA’s green bond framework to finance the waste management facility and other environmentally sustainable projects, marks another milestone in our stewardship journey. The waste management facility will be the region’s most advanced, efficient and integrated solid waste treatment facility that treats separate waste streams with greater energy efficiency and reduces Singapore waste resource management’s overall carbon footprint.”

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, who announced the medium-term note programme at the launch of the Plastics Recycling Association of Singapore on Tuesday, called it a “major milestone to catalyse the flow of capital towards sustainable development, and green our economy as part of the (Singapore) Green Plan”. Examples of other sustainable waste management projects eligible for such financing could involve material recovery in recyclables; waste processing and recycling; thermal efficient sludge incineration.

The National Environment Agency also developed an e-waste recycling innovation that is now being implemented in retail outlets. The Resource Sustainability Act requires retailers with a floor space of 300 square metres or more to set up in-store collection services for the consumer electrical and electronic products they sell. Collection can take the form of over-the-counter services or recycling bins, and retailers must also provide free take-back services for end-of-life products to customers. The discarded items must be picked up when a new product is delivered, regardless of the brand or where the item was originally purchased.

A green bond working group has been formed to identify and propose eligible green projects, while a green bond committee comprised of NEA’s senior leadership will oversee reviewing and endorsing projects that meet the framework’s requirements. A finance committee comprised of NEA board members will approve eligible projects to be funded through issuances.

Singapore is experiencing higher temperatures and shifts in weather patterns, and the plan is a key component of Singapore’s national climate change efforts. According to reports, a key component of this plan is to rethink how Singaporeans use energy. Decarbonising the power sector, which accounts for roughly 40% of Singapore’s carbon emissions, will be critical to the success of any energy reset efforts.


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