Singapore considers issuing bonds to combat climate change

SINGAPORE (Xinhua) – Singapore is considering measures including the issuance of government bonds to fund the SGD100 billion it might take to fight rising sea levels over the next century, according to Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Masagos said in the short-term, funding for projects such as a SGD400 million upgrade to the city-state’s drainage systems to boost flood resilience will come from ministry-level expenditures, while longer term spending could require the government to tap its national reserves and issuance of state bonds.

“Whatever we spend for the future will also be paid for by the future generations,” Masagos said.

Actually, SGD100 billion is a lot of money if spent over 100 years, the minister noted.

The climate change issue was one of the key points of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech at the National Day Rally on August 18. In fighting rising sea waters in wake of climate change, Lee said his government will consider building polders to protect existing low-lying areas.

Singapore doesn’t see climate change as a “tree hugging” issue. “It is based on science and research for which we have spent a lot of money on, getting supercomputers, scientists, and putting all the data that we have to enable us to make proper policy decisions,” Masagos said.