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Asia-Pacific Climate Digest (#3): 1st April 2021

Curated and compiled by Purnima Joshi

Last week saw the Climate Governance Initiative launch its inaugural Global Summit urging board directors to tackle the climate emergency and empowering Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) across the globe through education and climate literacy.

Eminent world leaders and corporate executives spoke on the barriers they face and some of the common challenges which thus require the issue of Climate Change to be addressed in unison as it is one that cannot be overcome in isolation or by a few. They shared their experiences on how they are leading the charge in tackling climate change in their businesses.

We now countdown to next week wherein HSBC in collaboration with Climate Governance Malaysia proudly presents the ‘Transitioning into a Sustainable Future’ webinar. We will share with you our experience on how small and medium sized enterprises and middle market enterprises can examine the potential in implementing sustainability exactly where it belongs - at the core of your business model.

Meanwhile, in this issue of the Asia-Pacific Climate Digest, we picked features on nations identified and invited by the US for the forthcoming summit on climate; the growing emphasis by Banks and the Financial system including investment decisions gearing towards addressing the climate challenges; the harsh and drastic effects being felt in the environments across different countries in our region, including how life is being affected and the changes being seen by the different generations in countries like Bangladesh which gets to its milestone of 50 years since independence; the worsening weather conditions being felt in countries across from Australia to South Asia in the form of floods or heatwaves; and, China’s continued thrust on Coal making it generate more than half of the world’s coal-fired power last year on the one hand and its continuing to claim its resolve towards becoming ‘carbon-neutral’ by 2060.

We hope this issue once again serves as a good consolidation of some of our carefully chosen features that may be of interest and address the topic from various angles.


Title : Climate Change: how Asia-Pacific will affect the whole planet

Author : Headline Editor

With the world’s most populous and fastest-growing economies, Asia-Pacific emits the largest volume of greenhouse gas, producing about half the world’s carbon dioxide. China, India (the first and third-largest emitters respectively, with the US second) and other large emitters will need to make greater efforts to reduce emissions if global warming is to be kept to the Paris Agreement’s goal of 1.5–2 degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial levels.

Source : Thailand Business News

Date : March 26, 2021


Title : Singapore trails on climate policy when it could be Asia’s leader

Singapore has become a straggler among wealthy nations in terms of its efforts to cut carbon emissions growth. Though the government has become a regional leader on some environmental policies, a new analysis shows its carbon emissions have grown faster than almost any country in the world.

The government appears aware of its failure to get progressive about emissions, saying that the country has limited options. Its overall environmental policies suggest the government may respond to pressure to cut emissions and get off fossil fuels.

Source : ASEAN Today

Date : March 23, 2021


Title : Asian companies claim they are going net-zero — but are their targets realistic, ambitious or greenwash?

Author : Robin Hicks

Increasing number of Asians firms are announcing carbon neutrality targets. While it's good publicity, some have yet to disclose how they plan to do it—possibly because they don't know, or don't intend to disclose.

What is the cost of not decarbonising? That is the question businesses should really be asking themselves.

Questions hang over how Asia’s big-polluters will realise their declared targets. Ensuring the big emitters share detailed plans and a budget to support their carbon neutral declarations is key for accountability.

Source : Eco Business

Date : March 29, 2021


Title : President Biden invites 40 world leaders to climate summit, including Singapore’s PM Lee

President Joe Biden on Friday (Mar 26) invited 40 world leaders, including Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, to attend the Leaders Summit on Climate next month, the White House announced.

President Joe Biden is including rivals Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China among the invitees to the first big climate talks of his administration, an event the US hopes will help shape, speed up and deepen global efforts to cut climate-wrecking fossil fuel pollution.

Source : Channel News Asia (CNA)

Date : March 27, 2021


Title : Japan's biggest banks face climate votes at AGMs as activism grows

Author : Correspondent

Shareholder votes on environmental issues have become increasingly common elsewhere and have helped to force corporate and financial change. The language of the resolutions is very similar to those used elsewhere by environmentally-conscious investors to push banks out of financing the dirtiest fossil fuel industries, like coal.

Source : Channel News Asia (CNA)

Date : 29 March, 2021

Title : NGFS Offers Climate Risk Guidance for Central Bank Monetary Operations

Author : Sanday Chongo Kabange

The NGFS (Network for Greening the Financial System), a group of 89 central banks and financial supervisors formed to support the Paris climate goals, has published a report outlining nine options for central banks to factor climate-related risks into their monetary operations.

According to the report, “climate-related risks will have consequences for the economic outlook, for the financial system in which central banks operate and, thus, for the conduct of monetary policy. The timing and severity of these consequences depend on how swift and effective transition policies are.”

Source : Regulation Asia

Date : March 29, 2021


Title : Net Zero asset managers now represent one-third of global assets

Author : Hazel Bradford

The amount of assets represented by the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative has tripled in recent months and now make up more than a third of the total assets under management worldwide.

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative now has 73 global asset manager signatories with a collective $32 trillion in assets under management.

Source : Pensions & Investments

Date : March 29, 2021

Category : ENERGY

Title : China generated more than half of world's coal-fired power in 2020: Study

Recent studies showed that China generated 53 per cent of the world's total coal-fired power in 2020, nine percentage points more than five years earlier, despite climate pledges and the building of hundreds of renewable energy plants.

The country has promised to reduce its dependence on coal in a bid to bring emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gas to a peak before 2030 and become "carbon neutral" by 2060.

Source : Channel News Asia (CAN)

Date : 29th March 2021

Category : ENERGY

Title : SF6: The Little Gas That Could… Make Global Warming Worse

Author : Diego De La Fuente, Rachel A. Meidl and Michelle Michot Foss

Although SF6 contributes only around 0.8% of CO2-equivalent modeled global warming, its potency and atmospheric lifetime persistence of 3,200 years necessitates action. The atmospheric concentration of SF6 has increased rapidly over time, primarily driven by demand for gas-insulated electric switchgear in developing countries.

Even though United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) partners are expected to report their GHG emissions, countries such as China, India and South Korea have not reported emissions of SF6. China itself is believed to be responsible for 36% of global SF6 emissions. Even some developed countries, including the U.S. and UK, may grossly underestimate their output.

Source : Forbes

Date : March 24, 2021

Category : WEATHER

Title : Scientists Warn Of Deadly Heat Waves In India, In Spite Of Climate Goals

Author : Staff Correspondent

Potentially deadly heat waves will likely become more commonplace in South Asian countries, including India, in the coming decades even if global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a new study.

Even at 1.5 degrees, South Asia will have serious consequences in terms of heat stress. Hence there is a need to radically alter the current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.

Source : NDTV

Date : March 27, 2021

Category : WEATHER

Title : ‘One-in-100-years' flood talk disastrously misleading and should change, risk experts say

Author : By Ben Deacon

A one-in-100-year flood has a 1 per cent chance of occurring any year. Town planners use one-in-100-year floods to decide where housing can be built. One-in-100-year floods are probably not becoming more common in NSW

As Sydney's Warragamba dam overflowed last week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian described the floods as a one-in-50-year event, and the Mid North Coast floods as a one-in-100-year event. Her statements unleashed a torrent of comments on social media, some pointing out their region had suffered multiple 100-year events in recent years, others seeing the frequency of 100-year events as proof that global warming was making extreme weather worse.

Source : ABC Weather

Date : March 27, 2021

Category : HEALTH

Title : Climate change: Calls for public health expert to be appointed to commission

Author : Danielle Clent

There’s been a call for a public health expert to be appointed to the Climate Change Commission by a number of health organisations in NewZealand.

The commission is preparing “essential” advice for the Government on how the country can reduce emissions – without looking at health evidence.

Source : Stuff

Date : March 24, 2021

Category : WEATHER

Title : Commentary: With the latest floods, Australia is at the forefront of the climate crisis

Author : Edmond Roy

In the past 18 months, the driest continent on the planet has made global news for unprecedented bushfires that left 33 people dead and more than 17 million hectares in ash.

This was followed by the great floods of 2020, which left hundreds homeless and drenched the eastern part of the country with more than 700 millimetres of water in a week.

Gone are the days when Australia was famous across the world for stories of cuddly koalas, boxing kangaroos or surfers versus sharks. Australia is now well and truly at the forefront of the climate crisis.

Source : Climate News Asia

Date : March 27, 2021

Category : WEATHER

Title : 'Willful ignorance': Flood-hit Australia urged to rethink climate change

Author : Michael Taylor

As Australia battles its worst floods in more than half a century, it has failed to adapt fast enough to the growing threats it faces from the impacts of climate change, with its people now suffering the effects of "willful ignorance"

As global warming accelerates, it is bringing fiercer storms, floods and heatwaves, more severe droughts and a growing risk of bushfires to Australia.

Source : Japan Today

Date : March 28, 2021

Category : LIFE

Title : Bangladesh at 50: Why climate change could destroy my ancestral home

Author : Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh is at the epicentre of the global climate crisis - 80% of the country is floodplain, and it is affected by floods, storms, riverbank erosions, cyclones and droughts. It ranks seventh on the Global Climate Risk Index of countries most affected by extreme weather events.

Citizens give a recount of the drastic changes in lifestyle over the years and voice concerns on what lies ahead.

Source : BBC News

Date : March 25, 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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