Carbon markets have significant potential to scale up decarbonisation efforts, market experts from Singapore and Malaysia told the Carbon Market Institute’s inaugural Singapore Carbon Market & Investor Forum today.  

Singapore has so far signed at least 10 bilateral agreements with other countries that could encompass trading and other forms of international cooperation, Benedict Chia, Director General of the National Climate Change Secretariat within Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office, told the forum. 

There are “more in the pipeline as well”, Chia told the forum, saying Singapore’s approach is “premised around maximising the mutual benefits” that can emerge from cooperative approaches in three ways – reducing emissions, boosting economic opportunities, and ensuring benefits flow to communities in alignment with the international Sustainable Development Goals.    

When buying abatement from other countries, Singapore intends to diversify its supply, with the aim of building “a very broad, diversified portfolio”, he said.  

Chia told the forum that participating in carbon markets provided an avenue to unlock “greater ambition” in efforts to reduce emissions. 

The more countries that are willing to collaborate via carbon markets, the more pathways there will be to unlock emissions reductions, he said.  

Dr Wei Nee Chen, the Malaysian stock exchange’s Carbon Market Head, told the forum that Malaysia aims to release a National Carbon Policy and an NDC Roadmap by the end of this year.   

Dr Chen last year spearheaded the launch of the world’s first Shariah-compliant carbon exchange for the trading of voluntary carbon credits, which held its first auction in March.   

However, Dr Chen said the Malaysian stock exchange aims to do more than just operate the carbon exchange, but wanted to help develop a carbon services ecosystem within Malaysia. 

Dr Chen told the forum that a carbon project in the Malaysian state of Sabah is currently undergoing verification under the VERRA carbon standards program, which is expected to result in the first issuance and offering of Malaysian carbon credits by the end of the year, at the earliest. 

She noted that Malaysia also expects to finalise its long-term, low emissions development strategy by the end of the year. 

The Carbon Market Institute’s Manager of International Research and Projects, Mei Zi Tan, told the forum that island nations in the Pacific have significant opportunities to implement carbon abatement projects. 

Fiji is currently in the early stage of discussions with both Singapore and Japan on possible bilateral agreements that would align with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, she said. 

Vanuatu has already signed such an agreement with Switzerland that involves the implementation of solar power projects in remote villages within Vanuatu, she added. 

Tan also noted that it’s important that developing countries take the time to ensure their carbon market and Article 6 engagement align well with their NDC targets and national development priorities, especially for small island states in the Pacific. Mutual capacity building is also an important part of the collaboration process, she said. 

CMI contact in Singapore: Emily Tammes on (+61) 427 047 395 or 

CMI contact in Australia: Thomas Hann on 0408 880 536 or 

About the Carbon Market Institute  

The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) is a member-based institute accelerating the transition towards a negative emissions, nature positive world. It champions best practice in carbon markets and climate policy, and its over 150 members include primary producers, carbon project developers, Indigenous organisations, legal, technology and advisory services, insurers, banks, investors, corporate entities and emission intensive industries. The positions put forward constitute CMI’s independent view and do not purport to represent any CMI individual, member company, or industry sector.  

For further information, contact Thomas Hann on 0408 880 536 or 

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