Singapore MPs push for wider carbon tax coverage ahead of expected levy hike

Singapore’s parliamentarians are calling for more firms in the country to be covered under its carbon tax, ahead of an expected announcement by the government on price hikes for future emissions in February.

The members of parliament (MPs) acknowledged the difficulties that Singapore has in finding the right carbon price, given that countries have adopted varying rules and standards on carbon taxation, and the city-state faces stiff competition from its neighbouring markets that are more lenient about emissions.

Singapore has been charging S$5 (about US$3.70) per tonne of carbon dioxide on firms that emit over 25,000 tonnes of emissions a year since 2019. It is one of the lowest carbon prices globally, but covers about 40 firms that produce 80 per cent of national emissions. The average tax in Europe is over 10 times higher but has half the coverage.

Responding to the MPs’ suggestions, Singapore’s trade and industry minister Gan Kim Yong said that firms will be given time and financial support to adapt to the changes. He did not provide details of the new tax structure.

Singapore’s revised rates for 2024 and beyond is expected to be revealed next month (February 2022) during its annual budget session.