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Economists warn of inflationary concerns and social costs behind ‘net zero by 2050’ ambition

Wong Pei Ting
Published Thu, Sep 8, 2022 · 05:32 PM

FOOD, fuel and utilities, the very areas causing inflation in Singapore to surge to its highest in 14 years in recent months, will soon test the country’s resolve to decarbonise – even as it entertains the idea of cutting wriggle room for itself to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Economists said the type of policies that are likely necessary to hit this target will require considerable adjustments in the prices of all goods and services, which will in essence reflect the true, if not truer, price of the carbon embedded within Singapore’s consumption. 

Much of this is unpriced at the moment, said Christopher Gee, head of the governance and economy department of National University of Singapore think-tank, Institute of Policy Studies. “We are largely free-loading on the environment.”

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