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Asia-Pacific Climate Digest (#2)

Curated and compiled by Purnima Joshi

This week sees Climate Governance Initiative launch its inaugural Global Summit, hosted by Climate Governance Malaysia, urging board directors to tackle climate emergency. The goal of this global network of non-executive directors is to address climate change as a top business risk, and help steer companies through an effective climate transition strategy. Eminent world leaders and corporate executives will speak on the barriers they face, and share experiences in how they are leading the charge in tackling climate change in their businesses.

In this week’s issue we picked features on leading nations like US and China co-operating and finding common ground on climate change, and likewise India and UK coming together to tackle the issue; emergence of a new index to measure the impact of global warming; China rolling out its five year plan which continues to put priority on its economy, perhaps at a trade-off with regard to prioritising climate change; gender inequalities arising as a result of climate change making it a feminist issue; the consequences of climate change resulting in mass displacement of humans as well as in weather conditions such as rainfall and temperature rises in some markets; and the importance of data in improving disaster response.


UK, India working to tackle climate change, says Britain’s South Asia minister

Author: Correspondent

Britain's South Asia minister Lord Tariq Ahmad said there is scope for expanding existing work to tackle climate change.

Both the UK and India are proud signatories to the Paris Agreement, and the UK is keen to work with India ahead of COP26 in November to lead the global shift to a low carbon economy and expand access to sustainable energy.

Beyond Climate Change, India and the UK have identified and have been working on various other areas in Science and Technology such as the Covid 19 vaccine, renewable energy and more.

Read more: The Print, 20 March, 2021

How the US and China can jump-start cooperation on climate change

Author: Jariel Arvin

Despite several differences brewing between the two nations on various other fronts, Beijing and Washington had decided to set up a working group on climate change.

The new Biden administration has promised to elevate climate issues. Meanwhile, China is already working on climate-related initiatives considered to be much more advanced than the ones in the US.

China and the US, the world’s top two economies, together account for 43 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. And while much of the industrialized world is looking to the United States for signalling on climate action, many countries in the developing world look to China for guidance.

Read more:, March 19, 2021

Category : LIFE

This new index is the latest measure of global warming’s impact

Author: Correspondent

According to researchers, the 'Years of Good Life' or YoGL index calls for a change in economic thinking about climate adaptation.

Finding out the “Years of Good Life” a person can look forward to on a warming planet could be key to unlocking the economic resources needed by populations to adapt to climate change.

The so-called YoGL index is the latest offering from researchers trying to balance sustainability and demands for economic growth.

Read more: Bloomberg, 20th March 2021


Advanced nations failed world on climate change: Nirmala Sitharaman

Author: Special Correspondent

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently admonished advanced countries for failing to keep their financing commitments to help emerging economies cope with climate change.

The government, she said, was committed to building infrastructure that would not only revive the economy but also prove resilient to the risks of climate change.

Read more: The Hindu, March 19, 2021

Category: ENERGY

India may join net-zero emissions club, but membership won't be easy: Russell

Author: Clyde Russell

India may be the last major climate change domino to fall into place as the government considers setting a target to reach net zero carbon emissions, in line with similar moves by other major polluters.

India is examining setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050, according to media reports, with Bloomberg also reporting that an earlier ambition of 2047, to coincide with 100 years of independence.

Read more: Reuters, March 18, 2021

Category : ECONOMY

China's Five-Year Plan Stalls Climate Progress, Experts Say

Author: Special Correspondent

China recently announced energy and environmental plans which received poor reviews as climate concerns continue to take a back seat to economic growth.

Analysts voiced disappointment with the economic and emissions targets for 2021 and the five-year period ending in 2025. The annual target-setting exercise has outlined less than ambitious and loose goals, leaving it unclear how President Xi Jinping will make good on his promise last September to reach peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Read more: Radio Free Asia, March 19, 2021


‘Inequalities will become even more entrenched’: Why climate change is a feminist issue

Author: Natasha Preskey

Climate change is already here, and it’s having a disproportionate impact on women around the world.

Various researches have been done which reflect on impact towards women as a result of climate change. Figures from the United Nations (UN) suggest that 80 per cent of people displaced by climate change worldwide are women. According to a review of 130 studies by the Global Gender and Climate Alliance in 2016, women are more likely to suffer food insecurity as a result of the climate crisis. Following extreme weather events, women are also more likely to experience mental illness and partner violence.

Read more: Independent, March 12, 2021

Category : WEATHER

Commentary: 2021 has already seen the wettest and driest months in decades. Is Singapore prepared for more?

Author: Dr Benjamin Horton & Dhrubajyoti Samanta

Climate scientists expect that as global temperatures rise, much more rain will fall in extreme downpours. The warmer the atmosphere, the more moisture it can hold, which means rainfall will be greater and more intense.

Enhanced monsoon surges could also bring more anthropogenic pollutants from East Asia to Southeast Asia via stronger north-easterly winds. The potential threat to air quality (such as an increase in carbon monoxide) could pose public health risks, and thus needs more monitoring and research.

Read more: Channel News Asia, March 15, 2021

Category: WEATHER

Over 10 million displaced by climate disasters in six months: report

Author: Reuters Staff

Recent occurrences of natural disasters reflect alarming figures of lives being affected and people being displaced as a result. Things are getting worse as climate change aggravates existing factors like poverty, conflict, and political instability. The compounded impact makes recovery longer and more difficult: people barely have time to recover, and they are slammed with another disaster.

Read more: Reuters, March 17, 2021


Philippines shows data is key to equitable climate adaptation in Southeast Asia

Data tools and mapping can help improve disaster responses and climate adaptation. For countries in Southeast Asia that are highly vulnerable to climate impacts, data sharing is one way to build more equitable responses to climate change and disasters.

Read more: ASEAN Today, March 23, 2021

Category: WEATHER

Malaysia’s getting hotter. Can its leaders rise to the climate challenge?

Author: Tashny Sukumaran

Malaysia’s cities are heating up – recording temperature increases of up to 6.7 degrees Celsius over the last two decades

Recently tracked drastic increases in temperature threaten the health of both humans and wildlife and have spurred ThinkCity Managing Director Hamdan Abdul Majeed to urge all sectors of Malaysia’s economy to join the fight against climate change.

Read more: South China Morning Post, March 18, 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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