Singapore’s Temasek doesn’t rule out high-carbon investments on road to net zero

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore state fund Temasek will consider investing in fossil fuel and other carbon-intensive projects if they make environmental as well as commercial sense, it said on Tuesday, even as it aims to cut portfolio emissions to net zero by 2050.

“One of the things we realised when we set this original (net-zero) goal for ourselves, it does create an incentive to invest only in low-carbon emitting industries,” said Temasek chief investment officer Rohit Sipahimalani.

“But there is a case for investing also in high-emitting industries if you could transform them.”

He cited a shelved bid with Brookfield to acquire Origin Energy in Australia, which would have involved the purchase of coal-fired plants that would have eventually been decommissioned and replaced with renewables.

Other potential targets include projects involving metals used in batteries or electric vehicles.

Temasek said in its first annual sustainability report that S$44 billion ($32.6 billion) of its assets are aligned with its “sustainable living” goals. That is equivalent to 12% of its total net portfolio and includes green steel and electric cars,

“It used to be the smallest part of our portfolio but it is the fastest growing,” said Sipahimalani.

Temasek plans to raise its internal carbon price from $65 per metric ton this year to $100 in 2030. The price is used to assess the long-term viability of investments and set incentives for management at portfolio companies.

Total emissions from Temasek portfolio companies peaked at 30 million tons in 2021 and it aims to cut them to 11 million tons by 2030.

Net emissions fell by 22% to 21 million tons last year. The fall was partly attributed to a decision by Temasek-controlled Sembcorp Industries to sell off its Indian coal power subsidiary.

($1 = 1.3485 Singapore dollars)

(This story has been corrected to fix the quote to ‘It used to be…’, not ‘t is still…’, in paragraph 7)

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)


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