The global environmental non-profit, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has set up a base in Singapore, in a boost to the country’s ambitions of becoming a green finance hub.
Headquartered in the United States, TNC aims to raise the supply of high-quality carbon credits in the region and unlock more conservation projects in Southeast Asia. These credits are permits that companies or countries can buy to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. For example, a company can buy carbon credits from a forest conservation project in Indonesia. Each credit represents one tonne of emissions.
In a media interview, TNC’s Singapore Country Director Thomas Brzostowski said that many companies and investors in Singapore want access to high-quality credits, but there’s a shortage. He added that only about 16% of global impact investments flow into the Asia-Pacific.
The Southeast Asia Green Economy 2023 report, published in June, said that an estimated $400 billion (S$542 billion) of investments in nature are needed to meet the region’s 2030 climate goals.
Southeast Asia needs to expedite its efforts to make the protection and restoration of nature economically competitive with exploitation, such as logging, and use market-based measures to put a price on nature and its carbon potential, the report said.
TNC has undertaken conservation projects in more than 70 countries and territories. It has protected more than 50 million hectares of land. It recently joined forces with seven other conservation-related organisations to form the South-east Asia Climate and Nature-based Solutions (Scene) Coalition, which aims to drive investments and scale up nature-based solutions in the region.