October 22, 2021

Singapore establishes a new office within the Ministry of Finance to promote long-term financial stability

DigitalCFO Newsroom | 11 October 2021

Photo from The Business Times

As Singapore aims to grow its green finance ecosystem, a new office has been established within the Ministry of Finance to help catalyze sustainable funding and investments.

This was revealed by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong during his opening remarks at the Singapore Sustainable Investing and Financing Conference on Thursday (Sep 30).

According to him, the Green Bonds Programme Office would establish a framework and collaborate with statutory boards, as well as interact with industry and manage investor relations.

Mr Wong stated that the government will lead the way in increasing the supply and demand for green investments by putting out the structure and norms, testing them with its issuances, and finding ways to assemble and link the various stakeholders.

The National Environment Agency (NEA), the first statutory body to do so, announced the formation of a S$3 billion Multicurrency Medium Term Note (MTN) Programme and Green Bond Framework last month.

Meanwhile, to help individuals, SMEs and large corporates access sustainable financing, the Monetary Authority of Singapore will facilitate the issuance of sustainable financing instruments, including green and sustainability-linked bonds and loans, said Mr Wong.

“This will support corporates in accessing financing as they invest in green projects and transition towards more sustainable business practices,” he added.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations issued a significant report last month summarizing the most recent scientific estimates on climate change. It emphasized the growing need of climate action, as well as the need for green investment funds and long-term finance to aid the environment. Speaking at the conference, Mr Wong said the banking, finance and investment community plays a critical role in facilitating investments in renewable energy solutions and carbon-neutral technologies.

Mr Wong urged the business sector to continue exploring possibilities and leveraging collaborations in the blended finance space since public efforts alone will not be sufficient to address the magnitude of climate change mitigation in the area. Mr Wong believes Singapore has the potential to become a regional carbon services and trading centre, citing a “vast” market for voluntary carbon credits.

Source: Vanessa Lim from CNA