MAS outlines net-zero roadmap

S$100m grant to support sustainability and plans for industry-led taxonomy

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced its financial services industry transformation map (ITM), which lays out the Lion City’s plans for its financial services sector to transition to net zero.

ITM 2025 includes a S$100m ($70.9m) fund that will be made available from 2021 to 2025 for capability building, green fintech, climate risk and reinsurance, and sustainable and transition finance.

It also sets out MAS’ plans to develop an industry-led taxonomy for eight priority sectors.

At its launch, MAS deputy chair Lawrence Wong called the ITM “ambitious” and said the road ahead would be a “bumpy one that throws up both risks and opportunities”.

“If we do this right, our financial centre will continue to stay relevant and competitive, and be a key global financial node that connects global markets, supports Asia’s development and serves Singapore’s economy,” he said.

MAS will also provide financing for corporates to facilitate the decarbonisation of real economy sectors as well as help enhance sustainability disclosures to improve investors’ access to companies’ ESG data.

Last month MAS introduced new ESG metrics and measures that are aligned with the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure.

“Asia is a key battleground where the war against climate change is to be fought,” said Wong.

“Urgent action is needed. The financial sector must do its part – to mobilise capital through financing and investments that support the region’s transition to net zero.”

As Asia makes its transition to net zero, MAS hopes to transform the city into Asia’s centre for sustainability solutions.

This includes gearing up financial institutions to meet growing market demand for new sustainable finance products and services, such as energy and fuels, transportation, construction, and the built environment sector. 

Philanthropy centre

Under its plans, MAS also identified growing interest among high-net-worth individuals and family offices to develop Singapore into a philanthropy centre in Asia.

“We will work with them to set up philanthropic foundations here, identify deserving causes in the region and enable them to better track the impact of their giving,” said Wong.

He hopes this will add to Singapore’s role as a “dynamic and purposeful financial centre” and provide a more holistic service for funds being managed.