Budget 2021: Govt will review carbon tax rate, which will remain at $5 per tonne until 2023

Singapore has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions as soon as viable. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The trajectory and level of the carbon tax after 2023 will be reviewed by the Government in consultation with industry and expert groups, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (Feb 16).

Details of the review will be announced during next year's Budget to give businesses time to adjust to any revisions, he said.

But, for now, the carbon tax level will be maintained at $5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, as previously announced, said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister.

"This will provide businesses with certainty in the current challenging economic climate," he said.

Announced in 2018, the carbon tax was set at a rate of $5 per tonne of emissions from 2019 to 2023.

The Government said then that there were plans to increase the rate to between $10 and $15 per tonne by 2030.

"Since then, the effects of climate change have intensified and global momentum to address climate change has accelerated significantly," said Mr Heng.

Many nations, including Singapore, have increased their climate targets, he noted.

For instance, Singapore has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions as soon as viable.

"This House has acknowledged that climate change is a global emergency, and has called on the government to take stronger climate actions," Mr Heng said in Parliament.

"So we enter a new situation today."

As a responsible member of the international community, Singapore will be expected to do more, along with other countries, as climate change issues take on greater gravity, he added.

Mr Heng said that an appropriate carbon tax level is one of the key levers to spur the reduction of carbon footprint, encourage innovation and green growth, while maintaining Singapore's overall economic competitiveness.

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