First Singapore – United Kingdom climate change bilateral dialogue

The first meeting of the Singapore-UK Climate Change Bilateral Dialogue was held from 24 to 26 November 2020 by videoconference. The Dialogue covered a wide range of topics including climate ambition and green recovery post-COVID-19, carbon markets, energy transition, low-carbon technologies, green transport, nature-based solutions, and green finance.

The Dialogue advances work in one of four key pillars under the SG-UK Partnership for the Future, which commits both countries to building on our historic links to look to the future, and address shared and global challenges together.

Singapore and the UK agreed that climate action cannot wait. We therefore reiterated our commitment to take strong domestic mitigation actions, including through harnessing renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, in support of the Paris Agreement.

At the Dialogue, both countries reaffirmed their commitment to working in partnership to ensure the success of the multilateral system to address global climate challenges, in particular through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Singapore expressed its support for the incoming UK COP26 Presidency, and both countries agreed to work closely with each other and with other Parties to secure a successful outcome at COP26.

To facilitate the development and deployment of low-emission solutions, such as smart grid systems, green transport, low-carbon hydrogen, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage solutions, both countries agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on climate science and innovation. This collaboration includes continued exchanges between government, industry, and academia.

Both sides affirmed plans to cooperate within the region to support implementation of the Paris Agreement, and accelerate the energy transition, particularly by enabling greater flows of green finance and supporting the development of carbon markets. To that end, both sides agreed to intensify exchanges between their national experts, and to enable and encourage the cooperation of their respective financial centres.

Both countries agreed to convene the second Dialogue in 2021.

Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore said:

The UK and Singapore have a long history of close engagement on climate issues. Given that climate action is a top priority for both of our governments, it was an easy choice for us to put climate and sustainability front and centre as a key pillar of the SG-UK Partnership for the Future, launched last year. As we begin the one year countdown to the UK-hosted COP26 next November, we highly appreciate Singapore’s strong support for its vital objectives.

This Dialogue has injected even greater energy into our efforts to drive the agenda forward and across green revolutions in mobility, energy, finance and beyond. By sharing our technical and policy innovations, it is more likely that our work will bring benefit beyond just UK and Singapore. Our partnership can also support the low carbon energy transition across South East Asia, the region that has the most to gain but also to lose in our battle against climate change.”

Tan Kok Yam, Deputy Secretary, Smart Nation and Digital Government and Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), said:

Singapore and the UK have a long history of working together to address climate change issues. We see the UK as a like-minded partner to jointly pursue exciting and innovative economic and technological opportunities as we undertake urgent climate action.

During the Dialogue, we had rich discussions on ways to advance our bilateral cooperation, and on how our partnership can accelerate the low-carbon transition, not just in our respective countries, but in the region and the world. We stand ready to work more closely with the UK, in the lead-up to COP-26 and beyond.

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