Asia-Pacific Climate Digest (# 6) 22nd April 2021
Compiled and Curated by Purnima Joshi
Today we celebrate Earth Day and the theme for 2021 is Restore Our Earth™, which focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. It a reminder to each one of each one of us to Restore Our Earth not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live on it. We all need a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health & survival, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity. Climate Governance Malaysia invites you to help further climate action across the globe.
Here is your next weekly edition of the Asia-Pacific Climate Digest, with news on climate change and governance from the Asia-Pacific region.
The Converation, 8 April 2021
Key Themes : Regional developments, Climate Change
Climate change is a security threat the government keeps ignoring. We’ll show up empty handed to yet another global summit
·A recent report highlights that Australia has overlooked the various threats posed by climate change damage in Southeast Asia, and is sitting on the frontline of this vulnerable region.
·Unlike traditional national security threats such as even terrorism and separatist movements, occurring at a Global level climate threats have no respect for national or sector borders and cannot be solved with missiles.
·South Asia which is a region for cyclones, with some nations vulnerable to catastrophic heat or fires will also lead to new threats and the prospect of multiple, simultaneous crises, including food insecurity, population displacement and humanitarian disasters, putting to the test national capacities, commitments and resilience.
·Australia risks being left behind as many other countries follow the US lead. Even NewZealand is already well advanced in turning risk awareness into action.
Channel News Asia, 13 April 2021
Key Themes: Legislation, Climate Change
New Zealand introduces climate change law for financial firms in world first
·New Zealand become the first country to introduce a law that will require banks, insurers and investment managers with certain threshold levels of business to report the impacts of climate change on their business,
·This law comes into effect to ensure the financial sector knows what impact their investments are having on the climate and makes it the focus of financial and business decision making. Financial firms would also be required to explain how they would manage climate-related risks and opportunities.
Modern Diplomacy, 10 April 2021
Key Themes : Investments, Climate Change
Climate Finance: Climate Actions at Center of Development and Recovery
·The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sought access to climate finance as a key priority for Asia and the Pacific as governments design and implement a green and resilient recovery from the current pandemic, enabling the governments to meet their Paris Agreement goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.
·In its three=-pronged strategy to to expand access to finance for its developing members to address the impacts of climate change, the ADB
(i) has an ambitious corporate target to ensure 75% of the total number of its committed operations support climate change mitigation and adaptation by the end of the decade,
(ii) is enhancing support for adaptation and resilience that goes beyond climate proofing physical infrastructure to promote other aspects of resilience into ADB’s investments.
(iii) is increasing its focus on supporting the poorest and most vulnerable communities by working on a community resilience program.
Mint, 14 April 2021
Key Theme: Weather, Climate Change
Global warming making Indian monsoon seasons stronger, more chaotic: Study
·A recent study predicts extremely wet years for India, with potentially grave consequences affecting over a billion people's well-being, economy, food systems and agriculture.
·It is expected that for every degree Celsius of warming, monsoon rainfalls will likely increase by about 5 per cent.
·Too much rainfall can harm plants and crops, including rice on which the majority of India's population depends upon for sustenance.
FoodNavigator-Asia.com, 14 April 2021
Key Theme : Food & Agriculture, climate change
Avoiding greenwashing accusations: Food firms need to get to the roots of sustainability to achieve credibility – BBC expert
·Food brands need to thoroughly trace the environmental impact of every ingredient they use, instead of just tweaking packaging or promotions that won’t cut it with increasingly sustainability-savvy consumers. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and aware of what they are buying and as news about Climate Change rolls on, they are realising the part they and their buying choices play.
·Significant proportions of websites across food, clothing and cosmetic industries are making misleading claims about eco-credentials, which could be in breach of consumer law.
·According to the study done, rice is the number one crop accounting for greenhouse gas emissions.
Finance Asia, 13 April 2021
Key Theme : Private Capital, climate change
Private capital to play bigger role in EM climate finance
·A recent study and report highlights that Investors need to play a greater role in fostering public-private collaboration that is required to close the climate finance gap in emerging markets, also needing to bear in mind examples of how different enabling environment mechanisms have succeeded in accelerating the transition across a diverse range of economies.
· EM governments can advance to attract investment to projects in key areas: clean energy, low-carbon mass transit, climate-friendly water and waste systems, green buildings and sustainable land use.
The National News, 11 April 2021
Key Theme : Energy, Global Warming
Why achieving net zero emissions is not easy for India
·Balancing the country’s increasing energy needs with the environmental demands to curb emission of greenhouse gases of which India is the worlds third largest emitter, it is is coming under mounting pressure to reduce its dependence on coal to bring down carbon emissions.
As demand increases, even though renewable energy’s share in India’s energy mix is increasing, coal accounts for almost 70 per cent of the country’s electricity generation.
·During US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry's visit to India last week. While he described India as a “world leader in the deployment of renewable energy, but said that the world needs to reduce its dependence on coal.
·Any efforts to cut emissions will need to be supported by funding though, thus making India a “red-hot investment opportunity” for renewable power.
·Despite the widespread concerns about coal's role in global warming, India is planning to stage its biggest auction of coal mines, with the coal ministry last month announcing that it would put 67 mines on the block.
Channel News Asia, 15 April 2021
Key Theme : Farming, Global Warming
India's desert salt farmers feel the heat from climate change
·Erratic weather conditions including unpredictable rainfall, rising temperatures and frequent dust storms have taken their toll on those relying on salt farming in India to make a living.
·Climate change is making it harder to plan for the salt harvest and is delaying the onset of the farming season, in addition to bringing unbearable heatwaves to those working the desert lands.
Brisbane Times, 18 April 2021
Key Theme : Australia, Climate Change
US, China call truce on ‘climate crisis’ to cooperate on solutions
·While US and China remain at loggerheads over human rights abuses, national security threats and economic coercion, they however agreed to work together on developing carbon capture, energy storage and hydrogen targets, while also providing funding for developing countries to switch to greener energy sources. This puts further pressure on Australia to take some action on reduction of emissions.
·China’s President Xi surprised China and the world by announcing a 2060 net-zero emissions target in September. China has now moved focus towards developing renewable energy sources, adding record levels of wind and solar power. The use of coal-fired power is restricted there is a move to shift away from the energy-intensive power source despite China having more than 250 GW of coal power plants under development.
·Australia on the other hand has been reluctant to commit to a net-zero emissions target of 2050 and after earlier grappling with internal disputes on addressing climate change recently however seemed to have softened its stance declaring its goal is to reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible, preferably by 2050,
Reuters, 16 April 2021
Key Theme : Finance, Climate Change
BOJ's Kuroda signals room to debate monetary policy role in climate change
·Bank of Japan indicated that it hopes to deepen debate with global policymakers on what role monetary policy can play in addressing climate change with several factors needing to be taken into account and any decision the BOJ makes on climate change needing to be in line with its mandate of maintaining price and financial system stability.
·Given the health of Japan’s Financial system, BOJ is wary of incorporating green concepts in monetary policy, but keen to take climate-related risks into account
ASEAN Today, 13 April 2021
Key Theme : Renewable Energy
Growth of solar despite COVID-19 points to Southeast Asia’s green potential
·Despite the impacts of the pandemic, a series of Solar initiatives in Southeast Asia have gone ahead. For Singapore to meet its ambitions for renewables deployment, and for the global efforts to reach carbon neutrality in the upcoming decades, such solutions that extend the opportunity to increase solar output would have great international demand.
·Though Singapore is a unique context in many ways, its successes around solar demonstrate a number of models such as floating or rooftop installations, that may be more easily replicable across Southeast Asia.
·China, though still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, has taken advantage of the enormous potential for solar and now has more than a third of the world’s solar capacity.
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.