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IPW: Singapore targets sustainable investment, and OECD highlights climate finance deficit

16 August 2022

In this week’s Infrastructure Policy Watch, Singapore mobilises sustainable infrastructure investment and the OECD reports on global climate change investment. 

IPW: Singapore targets sustainable investment, and OECD highlights climate finance deficit
Singapore’s public sector will issue up to $35 billion of green bonds by 2030 to finance projects. Image credit: Sean P/Shutterstock

Singapore targets boost to sustainable infrastructure investment

Singapore has launched a new online portal to boost infrastructure development across south-east Asia.

The portal is hosted by Infrastructure Asia – the office set up by the Singaporean government to help build the capacity, networks and expertise to deliver projects.

The government estimates that the region needs to invest US$2 trillion in sustainable infrastructure to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Singapore’s public sector will issue up to $35 billion of green bonds by 2030 to finance projects, including new electric rail lines.

However, the government hopes that initiatives like the portal will increase the visibility of the region’s infrastructure pipeline and connect governments, developers and financiers to speed up key projects.

The portal was announced at the recent Asia Infrastructure Forum.

ICE’s view:

Infrastructure has a key role to play in achieving the SDGs.

Last year Singapore announced a new Asia Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory Panel to help close the financing gap for sustainable infrastructure projects.

The new portal is another step in its efforts to mobilise expertise and investment across the region.

The SDGs have a critical role to play in achieving other long-term objectives, such as Singapore’s transition to net zero.

OECD highlights climate finance deficit

A new report by the OECD shows that developed countries provided and mobilised US$83.3 billion for climate action in developing nations in 2020.

While this is a 4% increase from 2019, it’s below the goal agreed in 2009 of US$100 billion a year by 2020.

About two-thirds of the total was directed towards climate mitigation efforts, primarily in the energy and transport sectors.

The report also highlights some other trends between 2019 and 2020:

  • Adaptation finance rose by US$8.3 billion, but mitigation finance fell by US$2.8 billion.
  • Overall public finance increased, but there was a fall in mobilised private finance of US$1.3 billion.
  • Asia received the largest share of funds by region (42%), followed by Africa (26%). In total, 70% went to middle-income countries.

Earlier this year, the IPCC expressed concern about the slowdown in the growth of climate finance.

It warned that the world is already off-track for limiting global warming to 1.5°C this century.

However, public and private finance flows for fossil fuels are still greater than those for climate action.

ICE’s view:

The impact of climate change is already here with extreme weather having a growing impact around the world.

However, the IPCC has highlighted a worldwide gap between ambitious mitigation targets and the ability of current policies to achieve them.

Bridging that gap requires major investment.

The economic context is challenging, as countries continue to grapple with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the same time, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is driving up energy prices and increasing already rising inflation.

Nevertheless, the IPCC has argued that the economic benefits of investing now to limit warming to 2°C outweigh the costs in most scenarios.

In case you missed it:

Check back in a fortnight for the next edition of the ICE's Infrastructure Policy Watch.

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  • David McNaught, policy manager at ICE