Climate Future Lab: How Singapore is approaching the future, with Sustainability Minister Grace Fu

Grace Fu photo

There is no laboratory for our climate future quite like Singapore, where startup innovation is central to the country’s climate strategy. That’s why we invited Grace Fu, Singapore’s Minister of Sustainability and the Environment, to speak at the SOSV Climate Tech Summit (Oct. 25-26). In the video below, you can hear her take on how Singapore has the financial resources, technological capability, and governmental focus to address climate change on all fronts.

Singapore is an advanced island nation which famously went “From Third World to First”, after independence in 1965.  Home to about 5.7 million people living in an area a quarter the size of Rhode Island, Singapore imports over 95% of its energy (and 95% of its electricity is from natural gas), 90% of its food, and half of its water supply. It is at risk of extreme weather conditions, sea level rise, as well as food and energy shortages. In other words, climate change poses an existential risk to the island state.

Singapore’s response to what Singaporeans call these ‘wicked problems’ cuts across many areas, but a big focus is long term innovation and investment in startups and technologies that will ease the climate challenge for Singapore and the rest of the world in the years ahead. The main vehicles are Singapore’s sovereign funds GIC and Temasek, which collectively manage over US$1 trillion, the recent $600M Decarbonization Partners fund with Blackrock, and the new $3.6B GenZero investment fund focused on climate solutions (GenZero’s CEO, Frederick Teo, will also speak at the Summit).

Grace Fu, Singapore’s Minister of Sustainability and the Environment, is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies related to the environment, water and food of Singapore. Minister Fu joined the SOSV Climate Tech Summit to share the latest development in Singapore’s plans for energy, food, water and environmental sustainability and sovereignty.

Minister Fu shared her views on the Singapore Green Plan 2030, new net zero goals by 2050, the ‘30 by 30’ aim to produce 30% of its food locally. Then there is Singapore’s ambition to get 30% of its electricity supply from low-carbon sources by 2035 (with floating solar farms and invest in clean energy imports such as the Sun Cable project for Australian solar energy and the recent hydro deal with Laos).

Minister Fu began her career in 1985 with the Overseas Union Bank, and later joined the Haw Par Group. She joined the PSA Corporation in 1995, one of the largest port operators in the world, where she held the position of Chief Executive Officer, PSA South East Asia and Japan. Ms Fu was appointed Singapore’s Minister for Sustainability and the Environment in July 2020. Prior to this, she was Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Leader of the House.

Benjamin Joffe, Partner at SOSV and co-curator of the Summit, interviewed Minister Fu.