Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at Carbon Forward Asia 2024

Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at Carbon Forward Asia 2024

Mr Louis Redshaw, Co-founder, Carbon Forward and CEO and Founder, Redshaw Advisors


Mr Stian Reklev, Co-founder and Asia Pacific Director, Carbon Pulse


Mr Thomas McMahon, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, ACX


Distinguished guests,


Ladies and gentlemen,




1. Good morning everyone. I was just here earlier for the “Women in Carbon” breakfast so happy International Women’s Day. To all of you, a warm welcome to Singapore. I really want to thank you for inviting me again for the second edition of Carbon Forward Asia.


2. At last year’s Carbon Forward Asia, I spoke of the importance of moving the needle on climate change, and how Singapore can be a catalyst for carbon markets and international cooperation. Last week, at the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Committee of Supply (COS) debate, I also highlighted the need for Singapore to encourage trade flows in areas such as carbon credits.  Collectively, we have made important strides both globally and regionally.


Strong Global Momentum on Climate Issues


3. On the global front, 2023 was significant for the completion of the first Global Stocktake (GST) at COP-28 and adoption of the UAE Framework for Global Climate Resilience as part of the UAE Consensus.


4. Although there was little progress on the operationalisation of Article 6.4 at COP-28, Article 6.2 remains operational since the establishment of the rulebook at COP-26 in 2021. Countries are already engaging in Article 6.2 collaboration. Most recently, the world’s first Article 6.2 transaction was completed between Switzerland and Thailand. This has set the stage for more Article 6.2 transactions to come, and we are confident many more high-quality projects will continue to come from Asia.


Carbon Market Developments in Asia


5. Asia has been actively developing international carbon markets. Allow me to update you on some of these developments.

a. Malaysia’s Bursa Carbon Exchange (BCX) completed its first carbon credit auction in March 2023.

b. Indonesia launched its first carbon exchange IDX, in September last year 2023.

c. Vietnam has announced plans to pilot a carbon trade exchange next year with full operations expected in 2028.

d. Thailand submitted its Premium T-VERS (Premium Thailand Voluntary Emissions Reduction Program) for CORSIA eligibility in May last year.

e. Bhutan became the first country to be fully integrated with Climate Action Data Trust (CAD Trust) to prevent the double counting of carbon credits. It also announced the substantive conclusion of negotiations with Singapore on a legally-binding agreement for Article 6 collaboration in Dec last year.

f. In January this year, Cambodia launched its operations manual for the Implementation of Article 6.


6. Countries are also working together for progress. In September 2023, ASEAN adopted the Strategy for Carbon Neutrality to accelerate the region’s transition towards carbon neutrality. One of its goals is to develop carbon markets that are interoperable with one another and with global markets. 2023 also saw the launch of the “ASEAN Alliance on Carbon Markets” (AACM), the first private sector led body aiming to support the growth of both voluntary and compliance markets in the region.


7. We firmly believe that Asia is poised to play a pivotal role for international carbon markets, and Singapore is committed to unlock its full potential.


Singapore’s Commitment to Carbon Markets


8. On the sidelines of COP-28, Singapore signed our first Implementation Agreement, or “IA”, with Papua New Guinea on carbon credits collaboration. I am glad I can share this here, almost one year after I met with Simo Kilepa, the Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Change of Papua New Guinea, who was in Singapore for the inaugural Carbon Forward Asia. The IA between Singapore and Papua New Guinea sets out a legally binding framework between two countries, to enable the international transfer of carbon credits aligned with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.


9. There are three key principles undergirding the IAs which we are working on:


10. First, to enable high quality carbon credits projects to be developed to generate benefits for the host country in the form of sustainable development outcomes, including bringing investments and new jobs. Singapore published our Environmental Integrity (EI) criteria last year. Our Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment has also established an International Advisory Panel for Carbon Credits (IAPCC) to advise Singapore on maintaining a robust and transparent carbon market.


11. Second, to enable faster time-to-market. Singapore’s IAs are designed to tap on existing carbon crediting programmes and methodologies. This allows us to ramp up the operationalisation of our IAs and provides more clarity for project developers. Singapore published our List of Eligible Methodologies in December for the Papua New Guinea Agreement, which includes methodologies under Gold Standard, Verified Carbon Standard, American Carbon Registry and Global Carbon Council.


12. Third, to support climate adaptation in host countries and also overall mitigation of global emissions. Singapore’s IAs support host countries by contributing a 5% share of all authorised carbon credits towards climate adaption in these countries. We will also cancel 2% of all authorised carbon credits as an additional contribution to overall mitigation of global emissions (OMGE).


Singapore’s Commitment to Green Finance/Transition


13. Beyond these G2G agreements, Singapore is also expending efforts to address the region’s growing green and transition finance needs, which are necessary for the growth of the carbon markets.


14. Last year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the launch of a new Transition Credits Coalition, called “TRACTION”. This coalition of ecosystem players will help identify barriers and potential solutions to develop transition credits as a viable market solution, such as credits from the early retirement of coal-fired power plants (CFPPs).


15. MAS also launched a new blended finance platform called Financing Asia’s Transition Partnerships, or “FAST-P”, which aims to mobilise up to US$5 billion to de-risk and finance transition and marginally bankable green projects in Asia.


Working with the Private Sector


16. We need to keep innovating and improving on our existing approaches to accelerate  climate action. This is not something that governments can do alone.


17. We need businesses and ecosystem players to continue the momentum set last year. These include companies who are innovating to support the development of carbon markets.  In the last few years, we have seen innovations in areas including insurance for carbon credits, such as with carbon credit insurers Kita, and ratings agencies providing independent ratings on projects such as with Sylvera and BeZero.  We are glad these companies have decided to establish a presence in Singapore.


18. Today, we have over 120 companies in our carbon services and trading ecosystem. We welcome the incubation of more of these businesses in Singapore and are keen to be involved in the co-creation of solutions to spur on the developments of carbon markets, especially in Asia.




19. Let’s work together to continue supporting a thriving and growing carbon services and trading ecosystem to capture opportunities in a low-carbon future.


20. I wish the organisers a successful and fruitful event.


21. Thank you.

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