Singapore-IRENA Forum: Key Enablers for a Just and Inclusive Energy Transition

The Singapore-IRENA High-Level Forum comes at a timely moment as the region grapples with the challenges of navigating a clean energy transition amid tight energy supply. Nathaniel Tang reports

In his opening address, Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore, said the forum provides a good opportunity for policymakers and industry leaders to discuss how the region can navigate the energy transition amid the various challenges.

With the theme "Investing in an Inclusive and Just Clean Energy Transition", an urgent call for action would be to mobilise investments needed to support Asia’s low carbon transition. Dr Tan emphasised the importance of ensuring an “inclusive and just” transition by continuing to equip the workforce with the necessary skills to access good job opportunities in the clean energy sector.

He shared that industry-led centralised training institutes for energy professionals, such as the Singapore Institute of Power and Gas, offers relevant courses to help workers upskill and reskill to meet the evolving demands of the sector.

Dr Tan added that it is also crucial to harness technology as a key enabler in accelerating the energy transition. Such advancements in technologies, coupled with declining costs, can significantly advance the use of renewables in our global energy systems. He cited recent developments in geothermal technology, which Singapore is exploring as an option to further lower the country's power sector’s carbon emissions.

Looking ahead, Dr Tan said Singapore and IRENA would work towards hosting the second edition of the Singapore-IRENA High-Level Forum at SIEW next year. A special edition of the IRENA Investment Forum could also be convened in Singapore, likely in 2023. This would foster more robust high-level discussions on strengthening access to renewable energy finance and low carbon solutions across Asia.

Opportunities presented by a 1.5°C compliant energy transition

Holding the line at 1.5°C means reaching net-zero by 2050 and ensuring a rapid decline in emissions, starting from today. Sharing his views on this development in a keynote address was Francesco La Camera, Director-General at IRENA.

Mr La Camera said that meeting CO2 reduction targets by 2050 would require a combination of technology and innovation to improve carbon management. Supportive and proactive policies would be crucial, in addition to international cooperation to ensure energy availability and access.

While the path to averting the climate crisis can be daunting, Mr La Camera believes that it is achievable. He noted that a shift in capital investments towards more viable and sustainable assets is critical, even as major economies and corporations seek to be carbon-neutral.

He further shared that IRENA is working with various partners to provide a dynamic platform that drives action, comprehensive planning, holistic policymaking and green investment at scale.

Stay tuned on this Live Blog or follow us on Twitter (@SIEW_sg) for updates on the day’s discussion.


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