DAVOS, Switzerland: Singapore will be contributing to a global platform in developing and scaling up low-carbon technologies in emissions-intensive sectors like steel, cement and chemicals.
It has joined the First Movers Coalition, a public-private partnership first announced by US President Joe Biden in November last year ahead of the COP26 World Leaders Summit.
Sharing this in a media interview during his visit to the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Transport Minister and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran said on Thursday (May 26) that the move is in line with Singapore’s efforts to decarbonise the economy.
“Climate action is a global responsibility. This is a challenge of the global commons. Everyone has to do their part. We contribute 0.1 per cent of global greenhouse gases. But we want to make sure that Singapore is seen to be doing the right thing as part of the global league of nations in this important effort,” he said.
“Our Singapore Green Plan is an important piece of it. It is not just what we do on our own as a country, but also what we are able to do in partnership with others. So we have embarked on a variety of initiatives on working with other countries.”
He explained that one important and differentiating feature of the First Movers Coalition is that it specifically focuses on the private sector, and how the private sector can work with governments and contribute to decarbonisation goals.
Mr Iswaran also pointed out that it is in the competitive interest of Singapore firms to strengthen their sustainability credentials.
“Especially for our enterprises, they have to be part of the global ecosystem, in particular in sectors like aviation and maritime. Ultimately, we need to make sure that our enterprises in these spaces are able to maintain their competitive position by the quality of the service they provide, and the sustainability of the services they provide,” he said.
KEEPING SINGAPORE WELL CONNECTED
Turning to priorities on the trade front, Mr Iswaran said Singapore is working on various other free trade agreements, and in new areas like the digital and green economy.
“Our approach has always been it must be rules based, it must be an open and inclusive architecture, and that will continue to be the approach that we will take with these,” he said.
He added that existing trade agreements will be constantly reviewed and updated given how the global economy has evolved over the years.
“This is an ongoing work that we are doing so it is not so much that you have a sudden watershed, but it's more about a very steady, purposeful effort to continually strengthen Singapore's economic linkages globally.”