ASIA Panel Report Press Release

Greater Stakeholder Collaboration Critical for Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Development in Asia

The Asia Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory (ASIA) Panel unveiled the ASIA Panel Report today. Titled “Enabling A Sustainable Asia Today”, the report identifies four key enablers to unlock and scale sustainable infrastructure in Asia, and emphasises the need for stronger collaboration among the public and private sectors to develop sustainable infrastructure that can support low-carbon economic growth in Asia.

Chaired by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and National Development, Singapore, the ASIA Panel comprises international experts on sustainable infrastructure. It serves as a platform to exchange the latest thinking and best practices, provide insights, and promote opportunities for the private sector to accelerate Asia’s sustainable infrastructure development.

The development of sustainable infrastructure demands a systematic approach to urban design, better innovation, and strong governance. Urban planners are now having to rethink infrastructure planning to address climate-related risks such as heat waves, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events, as well as population increase and rapid urbanisation. If climate change inaction persists in the region, approximately 26.5% of Asia’s GDP will be impacted by 2050.

The ASIA Panel report identifies four key enablers for unlocking and scaling sustainable infrastructure in Asia, particularly in the areas of Energy, Circularity and Financing. These include:

  • Ensuring strong governance and consistency in standards – Governments need to develop sustainability standards that can interoperate across the region. This will instill investor confidence and accelerate sustainable infrastructure development. In this regard, Singapore is developing the Singapore-Asia Taxonomy to classify economic activities as green or supporting the transition towards green (for example, by facilitating significant emissions reduction). This provides clarity and can catalyse financing for sustainable infrastructure projects.

  • Engaging alternative funds to supplement existing capital pools – Blended and catalytic finance such as credit guarantees can unlock new pools of private capital such as family offices.

  • Scaling sustainable infrastructure with proven technologies – The report identifies the following trends that can help companies leverage technologies to support their energy transition:
    • Increasing viability of renewable energy led by solar;Investing in energy storage solutions such as battery energy storage systems to mitigate the intermittency of renewable energy; and
    • Unlocking the energy potential of ASEAN through cross-border grids

  • Investing in existing assets to reap outsized gains – By retrofitting existing infrastructure or operational assets, industry players can optimise the energy efficiency of the infrastructure and extend their lifespan. This can be implemented by considering energy efficiency solutions in buildings, especially for space cooling.

Minister Indranee Rajah said, “Investment into sustainable infrastructure is essential to facilitate low-carbon growth. Key infrastructure sectors such as energy, water, and waste management may require more than USD 1.8 trillion in investment to meet economic, urbanisation and sustainability goals. I am optimistic the key insights in this report on market perspectives, frameworks, and business environment can help scale sustainable infrastructure development in the region. It is a call to action for all — the public and private sectors and the wider community — to collaborate and take more assertive steps at scale.”

Lavan Thiru, Executive Director, Infrastructure Asia, said, “79% of global greenhouse gas emissions are related to infrastructure.3 The time for us to act is now. We need to collaborate to strengthen infrastructure resilience amidst rising climate stresses. Infrastructure Asia will continue to facilitate connections, share knowledge and expertise to accelerate sustainable infrastructure developments. Through market-sounding and capacity-building, we can simultaneously build a pipeline of more bankable projects to attract private investments that not only fortify infrastructure resilience, but also drive significant social and economic progress in the region.”

Download a copy of the ASIA Panel Report here.

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About Infrastructure Asia

Infrastructure Asia aims to support Asia’s social and economic growth through infrastructure development. Infrastructure Asia was established by Enterprise Singapore and Monetary Authority of Singapore to support infrastructure financing and development in the region. It does so through early project scoping, best practice sharing and brokering, harnessing Singapore’s best-in-class infrastructure ecosystem (international developers, engineering and professional services, along with financial institutions and multilateral development entities). It also works with global players in the regional infrastructure ecosystem and leverages the collective capabilities and networks of various government agencies to catalyse more trade and investments into infrastructure in the region.

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