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Singapore to Empower Southeast Asia in Global Sustainability

Singapore is embarking on its sustainability journey while addressing its demands for carbon management services and helping achieve its decarbonisation aspirations. This creates new green growth potential for the country and the region, while also allowing it to meet its own carbon reduction targets and being home to several worldwide corporations.

A recent piece of research shows Singapore’s advantages, such as its existing ecosystem of carbon services, hub position for green finance and commodity trading, and proximity to Asia, will strengthen its usefulness in presenting carbon management services to companies globally. Specifically, one aspect was that Singapore’s strong fundamentals and renowned reputation make it an ideal position to serve markets outside of the country.

The findings of this study reaffirm that Singapore can play a part to complement Southeast Asia in enabling global sustainability. Singapore is home to headquarters of globally leading companies.

– Damian Chan, Executive Vice President, Singapore Economic Development Board

Chan added that while the leading companies get into their sustainability journeys, the EDB is looking for some solutions to meet their needs in the carbon management services and is willing to support their decarbonisation goals. “This opens up new green growth opportunities for Singapore and the region while fulfilling our own carbon commitments,” she opined.

Commissioned by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the research entitled “Study of Singapore as a Carbon Services Hub” aimed to assess the role of the country in providing services for a low-carbon future and provide considerations to develop Singapore as a go-to location for carbon services. The predicted gross value adds accessible to Singapore’s economy by 2050 might range from US$ 1.8 billion to US$ 5.6 billion (SG$ 2.4 billion to SG$ 7.6 billion), depending on global market developments.

Findings affirmed Singapore’s ongoing efforts to develop its ecosystem of carbon services as set out in the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and that it can take advantage of various pre-existing advantages to supply carbon management services.

The country is recognised as a regional financial and commodity trading centre. This opens the possibility of combining commodity and carbon trading desks, as well as supporting funding for decarbonisation. The country also has an attractive carbon credits trading location for international sectoral schemes such as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation since it is an international aviation and shipping hub (CORSIA).

In addition, Singapore’s climate policy framework and decarbonisation targets demonstrate the country’s commitment to carbon reduction. It features a small but developing carbon services ecosystem, with around 70 companies active in carbon services having headquarters or regional offices there.

Its proximity and connection to Southeast Asia (SEA), which is rich in nature-based solutions for addressing climate change, are another two advantages in terms of providing services to originate, finance and trade carbon credits from the region, as well as developing projects within SEA-based supply chains. Moreover, Singapore is well-positioned to provide a diverse range of carbon services – a trading base that can produce new business and job opportunities. As a well-known hub of Southeast Asia, it can help the region grow by providing a variety of services that complement the area’s sustainability efforts.

These services include providing financial, financial intermediation, and legal services connected to assisting businesses in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, such as those required to support compliance schemes, sectoral schemes, and voluntary markets. It can support capacity building in SEA in areas such as carbon accounting, monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), as well as carbon credit governance, to help the region develop compliance and voluntary markets. The country would be able to provide decarbonisation consultancy services to worldwide corporations with regional operations as well as facilitate carbon credit procurement for the aviation and maritime sectors, given their significant decarbonisation agendas.

Meanwhile, careers could be created primarily in Singapore’s existing services, such as commodity financing and trading, insurance, and legal services. This implies that more experts in existing sectors will be required to use their existing abilities to assist customers with their decarbonisation demands, resulting in job development in both new and existing areas.

As the need for carbon services grows, expertise in managing carbon footprints, such as climate risk assessments, decarbonisation strategy formulation, and carbon trading, will be in high demand to help customers meet their carbon reduction goals. It is envisioned that new positions in governance services, such as certification and verification, would emerge. These positions can help to keep decarbonisation efforts on track.

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