Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) has signed separate memorandums of understanding with two of the world’s biggest international carbon offset standard programs, Gold Standard and Verra. The memorandums support Singapore-based companies in using eligible carbon credits issued by Verra and Gold Standard to meet part of their carbon tax obligations in Singapore.
Businesses can acquire the credits from Gold Standard and Verra to surrender to the government, subject to carbon tax rules. Singapore’s carbon tax is set to increase from the current SD 5 (USD 3.60) per tonne of emissions to SD 25 in 2024-25 before eventually reaching SD 50 (USD 35.30) to SD 80 (USD 56.48) per tonne by 2030.
Carbon offsetting has drawn criticism due to the difficulty of verifying the impact of carbon-lowering projects. Third-party registries such as Verra and Gold Standard help verify projects’ carbon-lowering activities using rigorous criteria and can provide certification to attest that projects are real, verifiable, and impactful, addressing concerns over carbon offset programs and overstating their beneficial effects.
Apart from verifying carbon offset programs, experts warn that carbon offsetting must be complemented by efforts to reduce actual emissions as much as possible.