Opening Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, at the Partnership to Strengthen Transparency for Co-Innovation (PaSTI) side-event, Japan Pavilion, COP-26, on 12 November 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 I am delighted to join you this afternoon at the COP26 Japan Pavilion.
2 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned us that unless there are rapid and deep emission cuts, global temperatures will exceed 2 degree Celsius in this century. And to keep 1.5 degree C alive, we need to cut carbon emissions in this decade. While bolder country commitments have come forward at COP26, we need pledges to be backed by concrete implementation plans and reporting for the NDC achievements by the countries.
3 This is why the tracking of greenhouse gas emissions is important. When countries’ emissions are accurately captured, we can have a clear basis for implementation to track progress.
4 A robust monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) regime is also the foundation of an effective carbon pricing scheme. It ensures that the cost of carbon emission is properly factored in our production. When Singapore implemented a carbon tax in 2019, we set up the national MRV regime to accurately determine the levels of taxable emissions across different sectors of the economy. The regime is robust but does not impose a disproportionate reporting burden on the companies. As part of the capability building process, we conducted briefings to companies to familiarize them with the MRV requirements. We also grew the pool of third-party verifiers so that verification services are available at competitive prices.
5 MRV regimes also provide confidence for countries and companies to work together on low-carbon technologies and solutions, and develop high-integrity carbon markets. Such collaborations must be built on robust carbon accounting frameworks under the guidance of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and will require the development of new infrastructure, tools and capabilities.
6 In this context, the Partnership to Strengthen Transparency for Co-Innovation (PaSTI) is a significant initiative.
- PaSTI is the brainchild of the Japan Ministry of Environment. In partnership with the Japan Overseas Environmental Cooperation Centre (OECC), Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) oversees the project collaboration, with funding support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The project aims to develop and implement monitoring and reporting (M&R) systems for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, for industry facilities across ASEAN member states (AMS).
- Thanks to the support provided by the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC), Phase One was completed in July last year. More than 40 partners across ASEAN member states, comprising government and corporate representatives, participated in the needs assessment and development of an implementation roadmap which will harmonise M&R systems in the region.
7 Phase Two, which we are launching today, will build on this. It will establish facility-level M&R guidelines that are applicable for the region, and test-drive these guidelines through pilot projects. If successfully implemented, this proof-of-concept will support facilities and businesses in their decarbonisation journeys and make their operations more sustainable.
- Companies stand to reap efficiency gains by incorporating emissions considerations in designing and running their facilities.
- To facilitate transparency, a third-party verification mechanism can be added to create a robust MRV system that will support the greening of our industries and economies, in the global push for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.
8 Collective and committed global action is needed to overcome climate change. Singapore is keen to cooperate with other like-minded partners for a greener, brighter tomorrow.
9 I thank the Ministry of Environment Japan for its support and collaboration.