In what marks a big step in climate action, Singapore is set to launch a Climate Impact Exchange, a global exchange and marketplace for carbon credits. The project anchored out of Singapore is a joint effort by DBS Bank, the Singapore Exchange, Standard Chartered and Temasek Holdings. Part of the city-state's goal to become a leading carbon services and trading hub, it will facilitate the sale of large-scale, high-quality carbon credits through standardised contracts, catering primarily to multinational corporations and institutional investors. It was borne out of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce's Alliance for Action (AfA) on Sustainability, one of nine industry-led alliances piloting innovative solutions to help Singapore thrive in a post-Covid-19 world.
Carbon pricing, a key tool to combat carbon emissions, is gaining momentum worldwide. Studies have estimated that the demand for voluntary carbon credits - tradable certificates representing the reduction, avoidance or removal of a certain amount of emissions from the atmosphere - must grow 15-fold by 2030 to enable companies to meet goals set under the Paris climate agreement. Firms can buy these credits to offset hard-to-abate emissions. A robust carbon market is one that efficiently matches the demand for carbon credits with supply. The challenge is to arrive at a right price on carbon that does not impede economic development, and yet is sufficient to incentivise decarbonisation efforts.