MAS chief calls for bold moves on climate

July 29, 2021|Written by Graham Caswell|Monetary Authority of Singapore

The head of Singapore’s central bank has called for “bold, decisive moves” to embrace the opportunities involved in the transition to a carbon neutral economy.

Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), spoke on Wednesday at the Institute of Policy Studies and was hopeful about pushing the climate action agenda. However, he warned damage to human and natural systems will be “severe and likely irreversible” should the current global emissions trajectory continue.

In a speech titled The Four Horsemen, Menon outlined four core global trends challenging the existing world order – demographics, inequality, technology and climate change. He described climate change as “the most complex” of these challenges, pointing to technology and fiscal resources as vital to ensure Singapore thrives in a green economy.

The MAS has recently introduced a range of climate measures, many outlined in its Green Finance Action Plan, published in 2020. The plan includes climate-related stress testing and disclosure for financial institutions, the verification and rating of sustainable finance instruments, reduced borrowing costs for green loans, and a US$2 billion green investments programme. Other initiatives include improving the resilience of its investment portfolio and greening its own operations.

Menon has been outspoken on climate issues, focusing on the use of technology to improve sustainability-related data collection. “Climate change is the defining crisis of our time,” he told the COP26 Investor Action on Climate Conference last month. “It is already happening, the worst is yet to come, and there is much at stake globally for lives and livelihoods.”

The MAS has been an early and active participant in a range of international forums related to green central banking and the transition to sustainability. One of the eight founding members of the Network for Greening the Financial System, the MAS is also a member of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Risks organised by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and the International Platform on Sustainable Finance. It is also a founding member of the Sustainable Insurance Forum.

This page was last updated July 29, 2021

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