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Asia-Pacific Climate Digest #19 : Week 4, July 2021

Compiled by Purnima Joshi

Globally, various forums and meetings continue to be held, pre-COP26, to address the issue of climate change, where billions of dollars’ worth of investments are planned for alternative energy to replace fossil fuels as one of the resolutions to the problem. Yet, in the backdrop, studies show the alarming deforestation in mountain regions of Southeast Asia which has accelerated rapidly in the past 10 years. These mountain forests are amazingly rich in biodiversity and are crucial stores of carbon. Loss of these forests will be a devastating blow for nature and will further accelerate climate change. And need urgent spotlight as well.

This issue also carries features on the inauguration of China's national carbon market, the largest in the world that is meant to reduce domestic carbon, even as the US continues to push China into making rapid strides in carbon cuts; there's alternate energy sources in the horizon and in the making with the hydrogen economy as elsewhere BP released its Annual Statistical Review of World Energy last week. In other news around Southeast Asia, Vietnam's health system gets a dose with ADB boosting climate resilience and among corporate giants; Singapore's Temasek underlines the urgency of climate crisis needing to be addressed with an internal carbon price. Studies also reveal that majority of apparel-producing areas in Asia will be underwater by 2030.

Happy Reading!


Rise in Southeast Asia forest clearance increasing greenhouse gases

Science Daily, 12 July 2021

Forest clearance in Southeast Asia is accelerating, leading to unprecedented increases in carbon emissions, according to new research. The findings show that forests are being cut down at increasingly higher altitudes and on steeper slopes in order to make way for agricultural intensification.

Commentary: Mangroves, a crown jewel of Singapore’s coastline

Channel News Asia, 18 July 2021

Hundreds of millions of people in coastal communities across the tropics depend on mangrove forests for fisheries, fuel wood, medicines and coastal protection.

The importance of mangroves to protect India’s coast from the adverse effects of climate change

Frontline, 30 July 2021

The recent cyclones on the west coast have highlighted the increased climate change–related risks that India is facing and made it clear how essential it is to protect mangroves and other coastal features that act as buffers against storm surges, high winds and flooding.


Carbon market trade begins

The Star, 17 Jul 2021

The inauguration of China’s national carbon market – the largest in the world – will not only help accelerate domestic carbon reduction process but also promote global response to climate change, international experts said

Climate change: US pushes China to make faster carbon cuts

BBC News. 20 July 2021

US climate envoy John Kerry has called on China to increase the speed and depth of its efforts to cut carbon.

Without sufficient emissions reductions by China, Mr Kerry said, the global goal of keeping temperatures under 1.5C was "essentially impossible".

China's Climate Goals Drive Down Gas Forecasts

RadioFreeAsia, 16 July 2021

As China's planners prepare to meet President Xi Jinping's climate change goals, there are signs that the targets will require deep cuts in forecasts for natural gas.


Why green hydrogen — but not grey — could help solve climate change

The Conversation, 15 July 2021

What if you could drive your car for 1,000 kilometres on a single tank of fuel and with zero emissions? That is just one example of what is possible in a hydrogen economy.

Climate change: the West’s energy transition narrative ignores the reality in Asia

South Chine Morning Post, 16 July 2021

BP released its annual Statistical Review of World Energy last week, with updated data for 2020. As usual, the oil giant’s influential report card on energy use was accompanied by widespread media coverage.


Julia Roberts Just Made One Of The Most Powerful Videos Ever.

Julia Roberts narrates a powerful message about the planet Earth. Hearing these words really helps to put things into perspective.

While many of us may take it for granted, the planet we live on is the very foundation of all life as we know it.

China launches world’s largest carbon-trading scheme as part of 2060 carbon neutrality goal

China launched the world’s largest carbon emissions-trading exchange on July 16, 2021. It’s part of the nation’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.


Indonesia must chart a way to urban sustainability

The Jakarta Post, 13 July 2021

Even as Indonesia confronts the significant near-term challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jakarta and other municipalities should also leverage the opportunity for reassessment and reinvention as part of longer time moves toward greater resilience.

Experts confident public sector can meet ambitious emission goals

The Straits Times, 13 Jul 2021

Climate analysts and experts here have welcomed the public sector taking the lead to start reducing carbon emissions five years ahead of the national goal.

ADB project helps boost climate resilience in Vietnam’s health system

VietnamPlus, 19 July 2021

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on July 19 its assessment of a six-year project helping boost the capacity of health systems in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam to climate-induced health threats.


In bold first move, Singapore’s Temasek underlines urgency of climate crisis with internal carbon price

SCMP, 16 July 2021

It was Temasek’s 24.5 per cent one-year shareholder return – the Singaporean state investor’s best performance in a decade – that predictably grabbed headlines upon the release of its annual report this week.


Majority apparel-producing areas in Asia will be underwater by 2030

The Economic Times, 20 July 2021

Large swathes of apparel-producing areas in Asia will be underwater by 2030, an analysis released on Friday which overlaid maps of rising sea levels onto factory locations showed, threatening thousands of suppliers with submersion unless they relocate to higher ground.


Huawei vows to empower ASEAN’s green development

NewAge Tech, 18 July 2021

ICT technologies provider Huawei will leverage its digital power innovations to enable ASEAN’s cooperation on climate change and green development.


Environmental concerns grow as space tourism lifts off

Channel News Asia, 18 July 2021

Across the Himalayas, rising temperatures are destroying the habitat of the Asiatic black bear

Scoll, 19 July 2021

Climate change is making poison ivy stronger and itchier

Grist, 19 July 2021


CGM's Asia-Pacific Climate Digest is compiled by communications consultant Purnima Joshi.

With over two decades of experience in corporate communications, Purnima combines her skills in creative and communication along with her passion for working for the community.

She has worked on a multitude of projects in waste management, circular economy, building active citizenship in the community, some of which have won awards.

These also include a project on building climate resilience for UNICEF as well as some award-winning projects. She has been associated with several NGOs in an advisory capacity for over 10 years.


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