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New climate partnership between Singapore and US, creating business opportunities in green growth sectors

New climate partnership between Singapore and US, creating business opportunities in green growth sectors

Solar panels used to power walkway lights are positioned along the Marina Bay overlooking the skyscrapers of Singapore. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The United States and Singapore have agreed to a partnership to better collaborate on climate action, environmental governance, sustainable development and low-carbon solutions.

The US-Singapore Climate Partnership will "create opportunities for businesses and workers" in green growth sectors, including in energy transitions, clean energy infrastructure development, sustainable transport, sustainable finance and quality carbon credits markets, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Monday (Aug 23).

MTI did not say when the partnership will be launched.

The announcement comes while US Vice President Kamala Harris is in Singapore on a three-day official visit. Climate change is one area in which she is looking to deepen bilateral cooperation, senior US administration officials had earlier said. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity, defence and digital trade are the others.

In February, Singapore unveiled the Green Plan 2030, a "whole of nation movement" to advance sustainable development. One area of focus is growing the green economy to create new jobs, transform industries and use sustainability as a competitive advantage.

MTI on Monday called climate change a "critical global challenge" and a top priority for Singapore and the US, saying that sustainability and economic growth can go "hand in hand".

"Both countries support global efforts to address this key challenge and are fully committed to implementing our commitments under the Paris Agreement and taking bold climate actions," it said.

"By mainstreaming sustainability into the global economy, we can work together towards greater benefits and opportunities for Singapore, the US and the region."

Potential areas of cooperation under the partnership include sustainable finance, energy transitions and quality carbon credit markets.

Sustainable finance includes the use of private capital for sustainable infrastructure and environmental risk management in the financial sector, while energy transitions include sustainable transport.

The partnership could also involve expert consultations on the setting of green standards and the management of environmental financial risks.

"Both countries will continue to explore opportunities to strengthen our collaboration in more areas of climate change and the green economy, in line with our mutual interests," MTI said.

Singapore and the US will also launch two new programmes next year on helping cities become more sustainable through the lowering of emissions.

The programmes will improve knowledge sharing and collaboration between Singapore, US and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members through the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Monday.
"Upscaling green digital solutions will also maximise the benefits of technology from the digital revolution," the ministry said.


Singapore and the US are also working to launch a new Partnership for Growth and Innovation, building on a memorandum of understanding that was renewed in 2018, MFA said.

The partnership will strengthen bilateral and regional collaboration on trade and investment, beginning with the areas of digital economy, energy and environmental technologies, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare.

"This initiative signifies our shared commitment to strengthen growth and innovation in key economic areas," MFA said.

"Both sides also agreed to convene a high-level dialogue on supply chains, which will bring government and industry leaders together to discuss ways to strengthen supply chain resilience."

Both countries agreed to work towards concluding discussions on the partnership later this year, MFA said.

On the response to the pandemic, MFA said Singapore and the US will explore working together to increase regional preparedness and improve Southeast Asia’s collective ability to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19 and future health security threats.

This covers areas like epidemic intelligence and sequencing to identify new variants and provide early warning, MFA added.


Source: CNA/ga