Digging Deeper: Case Studies
Growing Singapore’s Green Economy
3 minute read
There are three key focus areas in the efforts to grow Singapore’s green economy – where growth is intelligent, sustainable, and inclusive:
Focus Area One: Transform existing sectors and help them decarbonise
The government has introduced targeted incentives to help companies adopt best-in-class practices in energy and carbon efficiency, crucial for long-term competitiveness.
For instance, the EDB, administers the Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy and Investment Allowance for Emissions Reduction to help manufacturing companies and data centres reduce their emissions. In January 2019, Singapore also introduced a carbon tax, the first country in Southeast Asia to do so. It was meant to incentivise companies across all sectors to reduce their emissions, enabling Singapore’s transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Focus Area Two: Grow new sectors and help our businesses seize opportunities in the green economy
As the shift to sustainability accelerates and presents new opportunities, work to position Singapore as a leader in related areas is underway. For instance, the MAS’ Singapore Green Finance Action Plan aims to grow Singapore into a leading green finance centre. There is also potential for Singapore to become a carbon services hub by partnering and supporting companies and other stakeholders in managing their carbon footprints, from areas like green finance to sustainability consultancy, verification, credits trading, and risk management.
Work is also under way to grow Singapore’s ecosystem of carbon-related services such as in project development, financing, carbon trading, and low-carbon advisory services. Government agencies are anchoring service providers that provide sustainability-related advisory, carbon project development, carbon trading, and assurance services to financial institutions and companies. In May 2021, DBS Bank, the Singapore Exchange (SGX), Standard Chartered Bank, and Temasek Holdings announced a joint venture, Climate Impact X, to set up a global carbon exchange and marketplace for companies to access high-quality carbon credits, which will help expedite the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Building up local capabilities is key as well and there are plans in place to boost development in this area, including the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 Plan, which supports the development and test-bedding of promising low-carbon solutions, and the Enterprise Sustainability Programme, set up in October 2021 to help enterprises, especially SMEs, integrate sustainability into their businesses.
Focus Area Three: Develop our workforce to take on jobs in the green economy
It is important to equip Singapore’s workforce with the skills and know-how needed to stay relevant in the green economy.
For example, the Energy Market Authority has been working with the Singapore Institute of Technology to develop Singapore’s first dedicated Electrical Power Engineering undergraduate programme. This will equip graduates with the technical competence, skills, and knowledge for our new energy solutions.
The Singapore Green Finance Centre and the Sustainable and Green Finance Institute are also developing courses to groom a talent pipeline in green finance across the career spectrum. Such careers in sustainability, which offer the opportunity to create a positive impact, are aligned with the shifting priorities of younger job seekers as they look for purpose and meaning in their jobs, beyond just a good salary. A 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that making a positive impact in their community or society is one of the top five ambitions for 36% of millennials in Singapore.