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“Towards Net Zero in Asia" - Opening Remarks by Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore

14 June 2022

Singapore highlights the focus of its journey to net zero in a speech delivered by the Ravi Menon, Director at Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) on 8 June 2022, citing four key enablers.

These enablers are:

  • carbon pricing in some form;
  • emissions standards, across various activities;
  • technological advances, in renewables as well as energy efficiency;
  • green finance.

With the financial sector playing the greatest role in the fourth enabler in getting to net zero.

‘The starting point for climate action in the financial sector is through the gateway of risk management. Before the financial sector can do good, it must first ensure that it comes to no harm. Hence the importance of ensuring that the financial system is climate resilient – that it can identify and manage the risks associated with both climate change and mitigating actions’

Mr. Menon stressed that the critical decade for climate action is the current one – 2020 to 2030. To achieve net zero by 2050, the world must decisively bend the emissions curve and achieve substantial reductions by 2030.

Progressive transition planning

The interesting dynamics between development and decarbonization were also highlighted. Energy demand in Asia is expected to double by 2030 on the back of economic growth, urbanization, and rising affluence. However, around 45 million people in Southeast Asia still do not have access to electricity, therefore fossil fuels will continue to play an important role in meeting the energy demands of the region, at least for the next few years.

His remarks will bear relevance to many jurisdictions that will need to address the tension between development and decarbonization to identify credible and inclusive transition pathways, based on strong public-private partnerships.

Transition plans should enable progressive decarbonisation that are aligned to net zero goals while taking account of developmental needs and providing support for communities to pivot to new growth opportunities in a green economy. 

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