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Singapore MPs call for minimum 15-fold carbon tax increase by 2040

04 February 2021

Members of the Singapore parliament's Committee for Sustainability and the Environment this week called for at least a 15-fold increase in the country's carbon tax by 2040 in one of a number of recommendations to the government aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

A panel of the committee's six members of parliament called on the government to conduct regular reviews on Singapore's carbon tax and work to revise it to between $75/mt and $120/mt of GHG emissions by 2040 from the current rate of $5/mt.

Singapore's government previously said it plans to increase the tax to between $10/mt and $15/mt by 2030, drawing public criticism that such a rate was too low.

Singapore will ramp up sustainability initiatives under its newly announced Green Plan 2030, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said during a parliamentary session. The plan seeks to partner up Singapore's private sector and citizens in bolstering efforts to combat climate change and improve on sustainable development.

"Ministers and political office holders will be actively involved in the development of comprehensive programs, as part of this national engagement process," the minister said. More information will be provided in the coming weeks, she added.

Beyond the carbon tax price increase, the committee's members issued 10 recommendations, including getting the public sector to take the lead in environmental sustainability initiatives with higher and expanded standards as well as having an industry transformation map for the sustainability sector.

Other recommendations included making public the emissions data of top-emitting private and public entities, creating more public electric vehicle charging points, expanding climate education in schools, and adding climate defense as a seventh pillar of total defense.

These are not the first national sustainability targets set in Singapore. Under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, which contains a series of environmental goals to be met by 2030, the country set goals for recycling, cycling path lengths, and park connectors.

Original reporting for OPIS by John Koh.

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