Ecosperity 2022: Singapore to make Global impact on Decarbonisation as Transport and Business Hub
Updated: Jul 5, 2022
“We have to make up for lost time, and need to take urgent and more decisive action now - Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security”
As climate change reached a critical juncture, countries and companies alike are banding together to keep to the 1.5-degree pathway and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Launching the Singapore Green Plan 2030 last year and with the Long-term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) set to be updated later this year, the government of Singapore has taken the lead for the green transition within the country, and established commitment to be a strong advocate for sustainability in the region.
“To do this effectively, we need to adopt an ecosystem approach – the government to create a conducive environment that promotes green opportunities; the private sector to invest in emerging technologies; the scientific and research community to focus on developing innovative solutions; and all sectors working together to cross-fertilize and generate new ideas” - Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security
Hence, businesses can expect a conducive environment for partnerships and opportunities in the growing regional green economy following focus on these three key thrusts:
Policy: Policies are pivotal in setting the framework for sustainability by helping create solutions at the system level. Some examples include carbon taxation reaching between S$50 to S$80/tonne by 2030. In addition, eligible businesses may receive support from the Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy (REG(E)).
Private Initiative: Private sector and private finance are mutually reinforcing as companies develop sustainable strategies and capital flows toward sustainable projects. GenZero is an example of a global investment firm headquartered in Singapore that focuses on supporting companies with decarbonisation solutions.
R&D: There is a strong emphasis on critical investments in R&D to build new capabilities to pursue sustainability development. The Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan has set aside around S$25 billion for research in strategic domains including Urban Solutions and Sustainability.
The transportation industry is one of the major focus areas for decarbonisation in Singapore as the aviation and maritime sectors account for 2% and 3% of global carbon emissions respectively. Being a global connectivity hub for both sectors, Singapore plays a critical role in catalysing sustainability efforts from three fronts:
Efficiency gains: The airport and seaport of Singapore are amongst the most efficient in the world and there are continued efforts to support investments in digitalization such as DigitalPORT@SGTM to streamline port clearances and optimise delivery of marine services for faster turnaround. The Singapore Airlines (SIA) fleet is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the world with an average age of 6 years and is estimated to be 15% - 25% more efficient.
Electrification: Increasingly, the airport and seaport of Singapore are deploying electric ground vehicles and harbour crafts to replace vehicles that run on traditional internal combustion engines. As partnerships with industry players ramp up, more insights can be gathered to accelerate the transition.
Eco-friendly fuels: As a key bunkering hub, Singapore has successfully completed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering and is involved in the Castor Initiative to design, build and commission the world’s first ammonia-fueled tanker by 2026. In addition, Singapore has joined the Clydebank Declaration to support vessels that run on lower-carbon fuels in green shipping corridors. To support further green technologies, the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD) has $155 million in funding for promising projects. For the aviation sector, SIA and Scoot flights taking off from Singapore will use a blend of refined jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
Contact the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore for more information about business opportunities and how Denmark seeks to inspire green transition in Southeast Asia
Commercial Advisor at the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore