Speech by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean at COP28 Singapore Pavilion Green and Transition Finance Day
Speech by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean at the 28th Conference of the Parties Singapore Pavilion Green and Transition Finance Day
Building Partnerships for Financing Asia’s Transition
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning, and thank you for your presence this morning. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the opening of the Green and Transition Finance Day here at the Singapore Pavilion.
Amid heightened geopolitical and economic uncertainty, the latest UNFCCC Synthesis Report has made clear how far away we are from achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. The world is on a pathway, we estimate, to 2.1-2.8°C of global warming by 2100. The increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events – from droughts and heatwaves, to torrential rains and floods afflicting all continents – are clear warning signs for us to take decisive action and secure our collective future.
Keeping the target of 1.5°C within reach will require concerted action from all of us – governments, corporations, and individuals. Enabling countries to realise their net zero pledges will be a crucial part of this.
To support developing countries in their efforts to decarbonise, we will need much greater financial flows into areas that have the greatest mitigation potential. Funding in the trillions will be required. Closing this gap will require uniting public finance with private finance. This is especially crucial in Asia, where demand for energy continues to rise as countries grow, urbanise, and develop.
Singapore’s Ongoing Efforts
Singapore is already deeply involved in channelling capital to climate action. We are engaged in project facilitation, the provision of debt financing solutions, and the general promotion of green finance. One example is Infrastructure Asia, which was launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Enterprise Singapore. Infrastructure Asia provides technical assistance to enhance project bankability, thereby helping to attract financing. Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, chairs the Network for Greening the Financial System, or NGFS, which comprises about 150 global central banks and financial regulators with a common goal to green the financial system.
To support countries in shifting away from coal, MAS has developed a framework for the use of transition credits to retire coal-fired power plants early. The Singapore Government is prepared to offtake these credits should they meet our environmental integrity standards.
Launch of FAST-P
Building on these efforts, Singapore has developed a new initiative to catalyse blended finance for Asia, bringing together the public, private, and people sectors to support Asia’s green transition.
I am pleased to announce the launch of FAST-P, or the Financing Asia’s Transition Partnership. FAST-P is a Singapore blended finance initiative that will help to de-risk and finance green projects. It will draw on concessional capital to catalyse commercial capital from a range of partners, including multilateral development banks and philanthropies, in support of Asia’s transition to net zero. Some of these partners have already come on board, and we are confident that more will follow.
We aim for FAST-P to invest up to US$5 billion in support of Asia’s transition, with capital from concessional and commercial capital providers globally. Singapore is also prepared to contribute catalytic capital, to support the partnership.
This launch today marks a big step forward in Singapore’s commitment to provide innovative green and transition financing solutions for Asia. FAST-P will be a first for Singapore in scaling up blended finance capabilities and other similar financing schemes for the region. FAST-P is also an expression of Singapore’s longstanding support for transformative global action on climate change, and a continuation of our many efforts to catalyse net zero through finance.
We can get to net zero if we are prepared to approach it creatively and act collectively. Blended finance, through FAST-P, is one example of Singapore’s contributions to this effort, bringing together the public, private, and people sectors to drive climate finance, and climate action in our region.
Thank you, and I wish all of you a rewarding and fruitful time at COP28.