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Recent updates on Global Environment News

Writer: Krishnan SRINIVASAN

Social Media Team: George K. KIONGSON


Climate Reporting Becomes Mandatory in Singapore from 2025 Onward [i],[ii]


Figure 1: Photo by Jisun Han on Unsplash


All companies listed on the exchange will be required to report their Climate-Related Disclosures (CRD) starting from the fiscal year 2025 using requirements aligned with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards, while large non-listed companies will have to comply from the fiscal year 2027 onwards. These large non-listed companies (called large NLCos) have an annual revenue of no less than $1 billion and total assets amounting to at least $500 million. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) have outlined the specifics of this mandatory climate reporting initiative for both listed issuers and sizable non-listed entities. SGX RegCo also plans to have a public consultation on the specific rule amendments for implementing the recommendation concerning listed issuers. This includes the mandate for climate-related disclosures aligned with the ISSB Standards starting from the fiscal year 2025.


This initiative shows the government’s commitment to enhancing companies' sustainability capacity and helping drive the green transition. With a higher environmental focus, companies that can furnish CRD can access new markets, customers, and investment opportunities. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) will extend support to help companies kickstart their climate reporting journey and build climate reporting capabilities.

Singapore government shall provide funding support of up to 30% for large companies that will make climate-related disclosures aligned with the International Sustainability Standards Based framework from 2027. 


Table 1: Timeline for reporting CRD

Requirements

Listed Issuers

Large NLCos (Annual revenue ≥ $1B and total assets ≥ $0.5B)

CRD including Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions

FY2025

FY2027

CRD for Scope 3 GHG emissions

FY2026

No earlier than FY2029



IEA Study Indicates Surge in Global Energy-Related CO2 Emissions in 2023 [iii]


Figure 2: Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash


According to the IEA's annual emission update, CO2 emissions from energy sources rose by 1.1 percent in 2023, climbing by 410 million tonnes to reach a new peak of 37.4 billion tonnes. This growth rate represents a deceleration compared to the 490 million tonne increase observed in 2022. Over the ten years ending with 2023, global CO2 emissions have grown by slightly more than 0.5 percent per year.


The IEA emphasized that the global surge in energy-related CO2 emissions over the past five years would have increased thrice from 900 million tonnes, if not for adopting technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, nuclear power, and electric cars. In 2023, carbon emissions from energy increased in China and India, while advanced economies experienced a historic decline in emissions despite economic growth. These advanced economies achieved a 50-year low in emissions, attributed to reduced coal demand to levels reminiscent of the early 1900s.


Mass Coral Bleaching Affects Australia's Great Barrier Reef [iv],[v],[vi]


Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has been hit by a major coral bleaching event likely caused by heat stress built up over the summer. Widespread mass bleaching was first seen in 1998 and happened again in 2002, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2022, and now in 2024.


Figure 3: Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash


Extending across 2,300km (1,400 miles) along Australia's north-eastern coastline, the Great Barrier Reef stands as the largest coral system globally and represents one of the most diverse habitats in terms of biodiversity. It is home to hundreds of coral, 1,500 fish species, and 4,000 different mollusks. The Great Barrier Reef has been listed as a heritage site for more than four decades due to its immense significance. However, UNESCO has raised concerns, stating that this iconic natural wonder faces a "serious threat" from warming seas and pollution.


Bleaching leads to the loss of colorful algae residing in coral tissues, turning them white. While corals can endure a bleaching episode, it may hinder their growth and reproductive capabilities. If temperatures fall, corals can survive but scientists say they tend to be more susceptible to disease and struggle to reproduce. Prolonged or intense heat has the potential to cause coral death.


According to reports from the United States government's Coral Reef Watch program, global ocean temperatures have remained high for nearly a year. The planet is on the verge of a global mass coral bleaching event that hit reefs in the Atlantic, Pacific, and potentially the Indian Ocean. The world's southernmost coral reef, located at Lord Howe Island off Australia's New South Wales coast, is currently undergoing bleaching.


According to a statement by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the ongoing mass bleaching event, among several occurrences in recent years, could indicate climate change exerting strain on the reef.


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