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Asia-Pacific Climate Digest: Issue #34 Week 1, Nov. 2021

Compiled by Ms. Purnima Joshi

The week gone by saw world leaders head to Scotland where COP26, touted as the ‘last-chance’ summit on climate change. Here it is expected that the Asia-Pacific region would be under the spotlight. What's more, countries like China and Russia which are of significance in the global drive to address climate change have been conspicuous by their absence at this major event, coming for sharp criticism by other world leaders, even more so since China continuously has been drawing controversy in their deeds as against promises to address the issue of climate change. China made only modest improvements to its previous pledges in its updated climate commitments submitted to the UN just days before the summit and has remained absent.

On the positive side, it is expected that Green Finance will be at the front and centre at COP26 and New Zealand pledged to reduce net GHG emissions by 50% by 2030; there were reports of Asian real estate embracing a green sustainable future albeit with a long way to go; Singapore launched its chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative (Climate Governance Singapore) and SE Asia's efforts to mitigate climate change gained traction with Australia doubling its climate funding support for the region to A$2Bn (USD1.5Bn.) and two major countries - Vietnam and Thailand - committing to net zero emissions.

And there's lots more, in this issue. Happy Reading.


Asian Countries Gear Up for COP26 Climate Summit

Benar News, 28 Oct 2021

Asian leaders are heading to Scotland where COP26, the most important global summit on climate change since the one that produced the 2015 Paris agreement, opens this weekend, after being postponed last year by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Glasgow climate test: Jakarta Post contributor

The Straits Times, 29 Oct 2021

The climate crisis is a code red for humanity. World leaders will soon be put to the test at the United Nations Climate Conference - known as COP26 - in Glasgow.

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To fight climate change, Asia-Pacific must turn up the power of its ingenuity and dynamism

South China Morning Post, 30 Oct 2021

As Asia-Pacific leaders head to Glasgow for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), they can be sure that our region will be in the spotlight

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'Illusion' of climate action by big emitters clouds outlook for COP26 talks

Dhaka Tribune, 5 Nov 2021

A slew of announcements just before the talks kick off has done little to advance efforts to meet global warming limits

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Leaders must commit to green finance at COP26 to avoid climate catastrophe

East Asia Forum, 31 Oct 2021

Greening finance will be front and centre at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this November in Glasgow.

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Coal is having a great year—but don’t call it a comeback

Fortune, 30 Oct 2021

Alok Sharma, president of the United Nations’ hotly anticipated COP26 climate change convention in Glasgow, has one overriding objective for the weeks-long event that starts on Sunday: to “consign coal power to history.

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COP26: Time to invest in Nature-Based Solutions and Climate-Smart Agriculture

Modern Diplomacy, 30 Oct 2021

Rainforest Alliance experts will be attending the UNFCCC COP26 climate summit taking place in Glasgow Oct. 31 – Nov. 12 presenting critical initiatives to raise the importance of nature-based solutions and climate-smart practices.

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World leaders urged to 'save humanity' at COP26 climate summit

Channel News Asia, 1 Nov 2021

Queen Elizabeth II on Monday (Nov 1) called on world leaders to act together to tackle climate change at the end of the first day of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

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Australia’s climate policy is all talk and no trousers

The Economist, 30 Oct 2021

There is a “uniquely Australian” way to tackle rising temperatures, believes Scott Morrison, the country’s prime minister.

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COP26: Time for New Zealand to show regional leadership on climate change

Asia Pacific Report, 30 Oct 2021

As the UN climate summit in Glasgow kicks off tomorrow, it marks the deadline for countries to make more ambitious pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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New Zealand says it will cut greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2030 as COP26 starts

CNN, 31 Oct 2021

New Zealand pledged on Sunday to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, toughening at the start of the United Nations COP26 climate conference its previous ambitions to limit global warming.

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Australia accused of ‘bullying’ Pacific over climate action, ‘buying silence’

Asia Pacific Report, 4 Nov 2021

Australia is accused of using “diplomatic strong-arm tactics” to water down outcomes in Pacific climate negotiations and “buy silence” on climate change, a new report has revealed.

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COP26: Southeast Asia moves on climate with A$2 bil Australia funding, net zero targets, 2 Nov 2021

Southeast Asia's efforts to mitigate climate change gained traction on the first day of UN Climate Change Conference with Australia doubling it climate funding support for the region to A$2 billion (about $1.5 billion)

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Green dreams in SEA as HolonIQ debuts first-ever Climate Tech 50 list

Techwire Asia, 29 Oct 2021

As environmental issues continue to make headlines around the world, climate tech is becoming highly sought after by many sectors.

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U.S. Scientists Improve Climate Simulations with Artificial Intelligence

opengovasia,com, 1 Nov 2021

Computer simulations that scientists use to understand the evolution of the Earth’s climate offer a wealth of information to public officials and corporations planning for the future.

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China must broaden scope of national carbon trading market to meet climate commitments: experts

Korea Times, 30 Oct 2021

China's carbon trading market needs some fine-tuning to help the nation achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, industry experts said ahead of the COP26 summit where global leaders are expected to discuss policies to avert the disastrous consequences of climate change.

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China makes modest improvements in updated climate commitments to UN

The Straits Times, 29 Oct 2021

In a disappointment to climate experts, China made only modest improvements to its previous pledges in its updated climate commitments submitted to the United Nations on Thursday (Oct 28).

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How to Solve the Climate Change Problem

EETAsia, 1 Nov 2021

To reduce CO2 emissions, we need to reduce the cost of green energy to a level equal to coal, oil and natural gas. Here's how.

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Why Asian commercial real estate is embracing a green, sustainable future

South China Morning Post, 2 Nov 2021

For environmental campaigners, the Covid-19 pandemic is a crisis that must not go to waste.

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Climate Governance Singapore launches with a vision to bring climate change into boardrooms

Eco-Business, 2 Nov 2021

The Singapore chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative (‘Climate Governance Singapore’) was launched today at a ceremony attended by Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, Grace Fu.

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Truss announces major investment in clean infrastructure in Asia, 2 Nov 2021

Unveiled at the climate summit COP26 taking place in Glasgow, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Catalytic Green Finance Facility, managed by the Asian Development Bank, will increase access to finance for critical infrastructure for ASEAN countries.

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Why methane is climate's low-hanging invisible fruit

Channel News Asia, 3 Nov 2021

Methane is the second-largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide. But new and better techniques to spot major emitters of the odourless, colourless gas have pushed curbing it up climate to-do lists.

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Regional Round-up Podcast: How Asean countries are joining in climate crisis fight

The Straits Times, 3 Nov 2021

Listen to podcast here