Singapore and Australia updated the progress of their Green Economy Agreement (SAGEA) during the 8th Singapore-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting in June 2023. The SAGEA was the world’s first agreement of its kind when it was signed in October 2022. The agreement focuses on promoting trade and investment in environmental goods and services, developing frameworks to support green growth sectors, and catalyzing technology and partnerships to help businesses implement green practices.
What are the new developments in the GEA?
Establishment of a Green and Shipping Corridor
Under the GEA, Singapore and Australia have agreed to establish a Green Shipping Corridor by the end of 2025. Australia aims to provide sustainable marine fuel to power Singapore’s maritime sector. Both countries hope this cooperation will help accelerate the decarbonization process of the shipping industry.
The Port of Singapore is strategically located at the crossroads of East-West trade channels and is connected to 600 ports in over 120 countries. It also handles over 37.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers and 626.2 million tons of cargo annually, making it one of the world’s busiest.
Launch of the Asia Climate Solutions Grant
Both countries also launched a US$3.7 million Asia Climate Solutions (ACS) Design Grant. The grant aims to support countries in the region's transition to net zero emissions.
The grant secured its first round of funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Olayan Group, the UBS Optimus Foundation, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The ACS will offer funding for targeted activities, such as feasibility studies, proof of concept, and innovative solutions.
Asia accounted for half of global carbon emissions in 2020 and is also one of the regions most exposed to climate risk.
Collaboration on green trade
Singapore and Australia will engage in a joint A$20 million (US$13 million) commitment to incentivize and help facilitate Singaporean and Australian companies to collaborate on green trade through the GEA’s Go-Green Co-Innovation Program (GGCIP).
The GGCIP is an essential initiative under the GEA that helps facilitate co-innovation between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the two countries. Grants provided under the GGCIP can be used for the development and commercialization of products or services that drive decarbonization in Singapore or Australia.
The grants will be issued to priority green sectors, including:
- Environmental monitoring and assessment;
- Energy-efficient technologies;
- Green transportation and logistics;
- Sustainable agribusiness;
- Renewable energy;
- Sustainable materials; and
- Waste management.
The GEA has showcased meaningful progress since its signing in October 2022. The recent developments discussed during the 8th Singapore-Australia Annual Leaders' Meeting underscore the commitment of both nations toward fostering a sustainable and green future.
SMEs can take advantage of the GEA’s initiatives and grants, besides exploring green trade opportunities in Singapore and Australia. With the GEA’s focus on promoting trade and investment in environmental goods and services, companies can offer green products and services, which align with the sustainability priorities of both nations. This can open up new markets and strengthen their positions in the region. For example, investing in energy-efficient technologies, sustainable agribusiness, and renewable energy projects. Collaborating with government organizations and NGOs can lead to partnerships, funding opportunities, and access to a wide range of resources to further green initiatives.
By aligning their operations with the goals of the GEA, companies can not only contribute to Singaporean and Australian decarbonization efforts but also position themselves as leaders in the rapidly evolving green economy.