Upcoming carbon tax may make S'pore more competitive

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The upcoming carbon tax may be hard to swallow, but it could pay off in an energy-efficient global economy, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli.

He told a petrochemical industry audience yesterday: "We are aware of industry concerns over the impact of the carbon tax on competitiveness, given that Singapore is an export-oriented economy.

"But precisely because Singapore is an open, globally connected and export-driven economy, our companies must stay ahead to stay competitive."

He noted that Singapore has pledged to bring its carbon dioxide emission intensity down by 36 per cent from 2005 levels.

Projections show that an annual improvement of 1 per cent to 2 per cent a year will be needed, Mr Masagos said.

He noted companies "are concerned about the cost imposed on them" by the tax, slated to start in 2019. But as the world makes an effort to shrink its carbon footprint, we must be ready to be competitive. - THE STRAITS TIMES