Intervention by PM Lee Hsien Loong for the Asia Regional Commonwealth Leaders' Roundtable

SM Lee Hsien Loong | 24 May 2021

Intervention by PM Lee Hsien Loong for the Asia Regional Commonwealth Leaders' Roundtable, convened by HRH the Prince of Wales, on 24 May 2021.


Your Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, fellow Commonwealth leaders.

I thank Your Royal Highness for convening this Roundtable.

As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, we must not take our eye off the global climate agenda. Climate change is an urgent and existential threat, and all countries have to build on the Paris Agreement to address this global challenge to humanity.

Singapore will do our part, and I share our plans with you as an example of one way we are trying to build back green after COVID-19. We launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030 this February. It is a comprehensive roadmap towards sustainable development, net zero emissions, and also a green economy.

First of all, we will transform carbon-intensive sectors in our economy. In maritime and aviation, we are reducing our carbon footprint through automation, digitalisation, smart technology, and the use of alternative fuels. In energy and chemicals, we are stepping up decarbonisation and resource optimisation. For example, we are transforming our petrochemicals hub, Jurong Island, into a sustainable energy and chemicals park that adopts best-in-class technologies.

Second, we will grow the green economy. We aim to be a leading carbon services and trading hub, providing services such as project development, financing, trading and verification. Companies are investing in Singapore to develop clean energy solutions, including smart grids; and also renewable energy storage solutions, which will help accelerate our shift to electric vehicles. We are also partnering the industry and global partners to explore low emission technologies, including with Australia and the UK.

Third, we will promote green financing to foster sustainable development. Financing Asian companies’ transition efforts through green bonds, loans, and insurance solutions. We are exploring FinTech solutions to help companies measure their carbon footprint and abatement measures. We are facilitating the origination and trading of high-quality carbon offsets to channel funds towards emission-reduction projects. 

Fourth, we will help companies and workers build new capabilities and skills. We are investing over US$18 billion in research, innovation, and enterprise, over the next five years. Launching an Enterprise Sustainability Programme to support companies in capability development, adoption of standards, and developing new products and solutions. We are establishing the Singapore Green Finance Centre, which will be a collaboration between Singapore Management University and Imperial College Business School. It will deliver Asia-centric research and training programmes in climate science, financial economics, and sustainable investing.

As a small country, Singapore’s impact on the global climate is limited. But we will do our part, and wherever we can, support others too. For example, through our Climate Action Package of technical assistance in climate science and clean energy, to benefit fellow developing countries, including those in the Commonwealth. We will support the UK’s Presidency for a successful COP-26 and work with all countries to build a sustainable and prosperous future.

Thank you.