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Asia-Pacific Climate Digest (#4): 8th April 2021

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Curated and compiled by Purnima Joshi

This issue covers news articles on the US climate envoy John Kerry’s tour to United Arab Emirates, India and Bangladesh, ahead of the 2-day virtual summit on climate later this month, where 40 world leaders are expected to participate. India being identified as a key partner to address climate change by US President Joe Biden, and Bangladesh leaders’ opinions on the subject of global warming.

We also have news articles on the environmental effects of climate change as gauged from varied occurrences like the cherry blossom in Japan, sandstorms in China and floods in Vietnam; steps being taken by financial organisations and the finance sector across the globe from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and also various ESG funds being mobilised to support and address the issue; glimpses of various energy-related moves such as Japan’s view of coal-fired plants as well as renewable energy initiatives.

We hope this issue – with its carefully chosen features – serves as a good consolidation of this week’s news on climate change in the Asia-Pacific region. Happy reading!



Title : US climate envoy heads to India to push ‘climate ambition’

Author : Reuters Correspondent

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is facing calls from the US and the United Kingdom to commit India, the world’s third-biggest carbon emitter, to a net-zero emissions target by 2050.

India says it will not only stick to the Paris accord to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35 percent from its 2005 levels by 2030, but will likely exceed those goals as it ramps up the use of renewable energy.

Source : Reuters

Date : April 1, 2021



Title : Biden discovers India as partner for arresting Climate Change

Author : The Statesman Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon all to remain united in the war against nature to avert a possible loss for mankind. She said that humans are consciously destroying the very support systems that are keeping us alive.

She said we want to see climate financing unleashed, not only towards a low-carbon economy, but also for the promised $100 billion, and 50% dedicated to climate resilience building.

Source : Dhaka Tribune

Date : April 2, 2021


Category : WEATHER

Title : One degree is all it takes

Author : Yusra Salim

Climate change is not something which has evolved out of the blue it has longterm consequences and generally people don’t consider how small changes which they have adapted with time in their lives are causing this change.

To make changes in this system we need to make our carbon footprint as small as we can and go back to being as close to nature as we possibly can.

Source : The Tribune

Date : April 4, 2021


Category : BUSINESS

Title : Climate-related disclosures are on the rise

Author : M Ramesh

Though the number is still woefully small, the good news is that more Indian companies are auditing their carbon footprint.

Emissions disclosures fall under three categories: Scope 1, which covers direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the entity; Scope 2, which includes indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling; and Scope 3, which counts all emissions down the entire supply chain of the business entity.

Source : The Hindu Business Line

Date : April 5, 2021



Title : Climate resilience scheme for urban areas approved

Author : Vietnam News Correspondent

The Prime Minister has approved a scheme for climate resilience development in urban areas in the next 10 years.

The scheme, which begins this year, focuses on responding to climate change and reasonable use of natural resources to upgrade and develop urban areas, as well as reducing air, water and land pollution.

The scheme is set to be carried out from now until 2030 in 63 cities and provinces nationwide

Source : Vietnam News

Date : April 3, 2021



Title : Pakistan responds to US climate summit snub with commitment to environment

Author : Sana Jamal

Pakistani officials said the country remains “fully committed” to addressing climate change and its green initiatives have been “well accepted and appreciated around the world.”

Islamabad’s response came after social media rebuke as the US President Joe Biden administration ignored Pakistan at the Leaders Summit on Climate (April 22-23) in which the Biden invited 40 world leaders after the US rejoined the Paris climate accord which former US President Trump abruptly withdrew from.

Source : Gulf News

Date : March 29, 2021



Title : Japan sees earliest cherry blossom since 1400s - and scientists say it's down to climate change

Author : Amar Mehta

Climate change has led to the earliest cherry blossom season in Japan in 1,200 years, experts say.

The peak bloom arrived on 26 March in Kyoto, the earliest since 27 March 1409, while in Tokyo they reached full bloom on 22 March - the second-earliest date since 1953.

Source : Sky News

Date : March 30, 2021



Title : China sandstorms highlight threat of climate crisis

Author : Michael Standaert

Recent sandstorms that shrouded Beijing in a post-apocalyptic orange haze and intensive droughts in other parts of the country are bringing into stark relief the challenges China faces from rising temperatures induced by the climate crisis.

Source : The Guardian

Date : April 3, 2021



Title : Seriously ugly: here’s how Australia will look if the world heats up by 3 degrees Celsius this century

Author : Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

Imagine, for a moment, a different kind of Australia. One where bushfires on the catastrophic scale of Black Summer happen almost every year. One where 50 degree Celsius (122 degree Fahrenheit) days in Sydney and Melbourne are common. Where storms and flooding have violently reshaped our coastlines, and unique ecosystems have been damaged beyond recognition – including the Great Barrier Reef, which no longer exists.

Source : South China Morning Post

Date : April 1, 2021


Category : FINANCE

Title : World Bank Announces New Climate Change Action Plan

Author : PRN Correspondent

World Bank Group announced a new Climate Change Action Plan which will increase climate finance, focus on climate results and impact, improve and expand climate diagnostics and reduce emissions and climate vulnerabilities in key systems.

35 percent of World Bank Group financing will have climate co-benefits, on average, over the next five years; and 50 percent of World Bank climate financing will support adaptation and resilience.

Source : Press Release Network

Date : April 3, 2021


Category : FINANCE

Title : How will climate change reporting impact future mortgage assessments?

Author : Rozi Jones

All UK mortgage lenders need to start planning now how they will map the impact of climate change on their existing and future portfolios. The warning comes ahead of the launch in June of the final details of the PRA’s data requirements on the resilience of banks and insurers to climate change.

Source : Financial Reporter

Date : March 30, 2021


Category : FINANCE

Title : Southeast Asia Weighs Benchmarks for $3 Trillion Green Financing

Author : Elfie Chew

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is seeking to establish a framework for green investments in the region that could be worth as much as $3 trillion.

As global pressure mounts to drastically cut carbon output to stave off climate change, governments and corporations are shifting attention toward renewable power and lowering emissions. The move by Asean, a region heavily reliant on coal, is key to establishing clarity and common definitions necessary for markets to know what constitutes “green” investing.

Source : Bloomberg Green

Date : March 30, 2021


Category : FINANCE

Title : Climate change both an existential risk and an opportunity for the financial sector: MAS chief Ravi Menon

Author : Crispina Robert

Climate change and sustainability will be the “predominant preoccupation” of business and finance.

As a global financial centre, Singapore had to think seriously about not just what the risk was, but in mitigating it and in the process make a clear shift towards a lower carbon economy.

Source : Channel News Asia

Date : April 1, 2021


Category : FINANCE

Title : Taiwan leads Asia in share of ESG assets as dearth of options at home drive funds offshore in search of green energy investments

Author : Ralph Jemmings

A wave of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment fervour is sweeping Taiwan, turning the island into a leader in Asia as the market for sustainable investing takes off.

Taiwanese investors held more ESG mutual fund and exchange traded fund assets as a total share of assets under management than any Asian economy in the third quarter of last year.

Source : South China Morning Post

Date : April 3, 2021


Category : FINANCE

Title : ADB: Climate finance a priority in recovery

Author : The Philippine Star Correspondent

Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) said access to climate finance is a key priority for Asia Pacific nations as governments design and implement a green and resilient recovery from the pandemic.

ADB said the pandemic presents an opportunity to rebuild economies with more resilient and sustainable infrastructure.

Source : The Philippine Star

Date : April 4, 2021


Category : ENERGY

Title : Climate Action: Why India Can’t Meet Its Net-Zero Target by Itself

The news that India may be joining the ‘net zero’ club – together with China, the UK and other major economies – and pledge to decarbonise its economy by 2050, has sent the climate community scrambling for practical solutions to achieve the target

A politically thorny aspect has been overlooked – one that could make or break India’s efforts towards a just energy transition.

Source : Lights On Newsletter (Published later in Channel News Asia)

Date : March 29, 2021


Category : ENERGY

Title : India baulks at carbon neutral target as pressure grows

Author : The Straits Times Correspondent

India is unlikely to bind itself to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2050, government sources told Reuters, despite diplomatic pressure from the United States and Britain to do so to help slow global warming.

India's energy demand is projected to grow by more than any other nation over the next two decades and the worry is that it might have to cut back on consumption if it were to tie itself to a hard emissions deadline

Source : The Straits Times

Date : March 30, 2021


Category : ENERGY

Title : Can the EU's climate change plan work in Southeast Asia?

Author : Correspondent

The EU has earmarked millions of euros for supporting climate friendly development in Southeast Asia. But the EU's climate diplomacy in the region is up against economic growth fueled by dirty energy.

After the European Union became a "strategic partner" of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc in December 2020, both blocs pledged to make climate change policy a key area of cooperation.

Source :


Category : ENERGY

Title : Japan and EU to ally on aid for Asia decarbonization

Author : Staff Writers

Japan and the European Union will embark on an alliance to combat climate change, helping emerging Asian economies reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The two sides will work together to develop new technologies, while offering development assistance to encourage Southeast and South Asian countries that depend on coal-fired power plants to introduce renewable energy

Source : Nikkei Asia

Date : March 30, 2021


Category : ENERGY

Title : India has big green energy dreams—but issues old and new persist

Author : S Gopikrishna Warrier

After Joe Biden took charge as the United States president, climate change is returning as a pillar of its collaboration with India

It is significant that climate change emerged as a topic of discussion at the first important meeting (albeit online) between the US president and Indian prime minister.

Source : Quartz India

Date : March 30, 2021


Category : ENERGY

Title : Should India declare a net zero emission target?

Author : R R Rashmi

Net zero emission by 2050 is emerging as the latest war cry on the climate front. And the drum beat is getting louder as the Glasgow climate conference draws nearer

India’s challenge has deepened because, in at least 12 of the G20 economies, the net zero goal has either been adopted or is under discussion

Source : Hindustan Times

Date : March 30, 2021


Category : ENERGY

Title : Japan mulls ending support for exporting coal-fired power plants

Author : Kyodo News Correspondent

Japan is considering ending state support to build coal-fired power plants abroad in line with international efforts to curb global warming

Coal can be an attractive form of power generation for developing countries because of its low cost, but produces more carbon dioxide than natural gas or renewables such as solar and wind.

Source : Kyodo News

Date : March 29, 2021


Category : LIFE

Title : Vietnam Fights Climate Change With COVID Strategy

Author : James Borton

Vietnam’s containment of the COVID-19 crisis has left little time for recognition on the world stage. While decisive central government response successfully beat back the pandemic’s viral challenges, authorities are now facing the real and present dangers of climate change. The moment provides an opportunity and imperative to explore renewable energy for less carbon-intensive growth.

Source : ASEAN Post

Date : April 3, 2021


Category : POLITICS

Title : Kerry: US 'hopeful' it can work with China to tackle climate change

Author : Reuters Correspondent

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said the United States was hopeful it could work with China to tackle climate change, despite longstanding disagreements that have affected the bilateral relationship.

Sino-US relations have been strained in recent years by disagreements about trade, China's treatment of its Uighur minority, as well as China's actions in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

China has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060 while US President Joe Biden's administration is expected to announce a new target for reducing emissions

Source : Channel News Asia / Reuters

Date : April 4, 2021



Title : One quarter of global population faces fatal heat waves

Author : Open Access Government

In South Asia, global warming is set to create more deadly heat waves – with 60% of the region unable to take shelter and survive, due to working outdoors

The Earth has warmed by 1 degree Celsius since roughly 1820. There is expected to be another 0.5 degree of warming, bringing the Earth up to 1.5 extra degrees by 2040.

Source : Open Access Government

Date : March 29, 2021



Title : Protect fish to increase catches—and cut carbon

Author : Tim Radford

To convert the right stretches of the blue planet into marine sanctuaries would actually deliver bigger hauls than any uncontrolled harvests could promise. It could also protect marine wildlife and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.


Source : Eco Business

Date : March 30, 2021


Category : ECONOMICS

Title : Benefits of net-zero emissions vastly outweigh costs: economists

Author : Reporter, French Press Agency (FPA)

A major international survey found that nearly three-quarters of the economists responding believed that "immediate and drastic" action was needed to limit the fallout of climate change, warning that the costs of failing to slash carbon pollution would rapidly balloon to reach trillions of dollars every year.

Source : Daily Sabah

Date : March 30, 2021



Title : Clean Facts on global warming

Global warming is the result of an increase in the earth’s average surface temperature due to over-emittance of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. According to NASA, “the global average surface temperature rose 0.6–0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1–1.6°F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years.”

Source : The Hindu Business Line

Date : April 4, 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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