ESG Round-up: Singapore raises the price of carbon

The latest developments in sustainable finance:  Singapore will raise its carbon tax fivefold to $25 per tonne in 2024; EU's corporate sustainability reporting regime rolls on; Blackstone swears off upstream oil and gas.

Singapore will raise its carbon tax fivefold to $25 per tonne in 2024, ahead of planned increases to $45 in 2026 and between $50 to $80 by 2030, according to its 2022 budget presentation earlier this week. The government has detailed a proposed ‘transition framework’ which will provide emission allowances based on efficiency standards and decarbonisation targets to “mitigate the impact on business costs, while still encouraging decarbonisation”. Businesses will also be allowed to use carbon credits to offset up to 5% of their taxable emissions. Singapore became the first South East Asian country to introduce a carbon tax back in 2019, but it is one of the world’s lowest at $5.

EU member states have formally adopted proposals from the Commission to revise the bloc’s corporate sustainability reporting regime. The formality paves the way for the adoption of the technical criteria which makes up the disclosure requirements, currently scheduled for October. The requirements are being developed by EU accounting advisory body EFRAG, which announced the appointment of EU trade groups EFAMA and Eurosif to its project working group this month.

Private markets firm Blackstone will not invest in the exploration and production of oil and gas for the firm’s next energy fund. A report from Bloomberg said that Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative assets manager, has sworn off investing in the upstream part of the oil and gas production chain from future equity and debt strategies. The commitment not to invest from future funds says nothing about the $4.2 billion Blackstone closed on last year for its Energy Partners III fund. A Blackstone spokesperson declined to rule out future upstream investments from this strategy, affiliate title New Private Markets reported last year.