Updated: Oct 4, 2022
In this first of a series of 6 webinars brought to you by the ASEAN Climate Governance Network and the Sustainable Finance Institute Asia, Dato Seri Johan Raslan (a member of the ASEAN Climate Governance Network) moderated a panel discussion with:
1. Helge Muenkel is the brand new Chief Sustainability Officer at DBS Bank, one of the ‘big 3’ Singapore Banks. Before DBS Helge worked at the Dutch bank ING, where he played a key role in developing sustainability-related advisory services and sustainable finance transactions. He has worked in Frankfurt, Munich, London, Hong Kong and of course Singapore – and other places too!.
2. Khun Tayakorn Jitrakuldhacha is the Director of Bond Department within the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand, the capital market regulator there. The Thailand SEC celebrates its 30th birthday next month, and its mission is “to assure conducive environment for a fair, dynamic and inclusive capital market”. Khun Tayakorn is a lawyer by training, and has studied in Thailand, the UK and France. His work in the SEC has included sustainable bonds, taxonomy standards and disclosure standards for sustainability.
3. Jenifer Thien is independent director at UEM Edgenta Berhad, a Malaysian multinational company listed on Bursa Malaysia. UEM operates in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. With a background in food and supply chains, Jenifer spent 15 years working outside Malaysia, in Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing and the United States. She now heads up her own consulting practice. She lectures, and share wide experiences that we have in the ASEAN region, and make some great changes happen in companies and business.
Dato Seri Johan shared that IPCC (or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) had just issued its final warning to governments, business and the human race: that the world is failing to make the changes we need to limit future heating to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. If we don’t change, IPCC says temperatures will soar up to more than 3 degrees celcius higher, and the result will be catastrophic.
Helge provided insights on how capital markets are looking at ESG in the finance ecosystem and how sustainability affects capital allocation and credit deployment. He also shared DBS’s strategy to achieving net-zero carbon emissions.
Khun Tayakorn shared the general direction that the Thailand regulators are taking in respect of Climate Change, and Thailand SEC’s policy.
Jenifer provided her perspective on what companies and board members need to do to respond to all the pressures from the banks and regulators.
In his wrap-up, Dato Seri Johan recapped the key takeaways from each of the speakers:
Helge Munkel: We are all part of an ecosystem and It takes all players to fight Climate Change. The ecosystem needs to also change. Collaboration and working together. Sustainable businesses are better businesses.
Khun Tayakorn: Greenwashing is a problem and we need reliable disclosures of sustainability information from companies. Govt tone from the top is important in Asia, and regulators are collaborating. Time to act is now!
Jenifer Thien: W all know the ‘Why’ after COP 26 and the latest IPCC report. We now must work on the ‘How”. Boards and executive leadership need to have a sustainability mindset. Our multitude of stakeholders are watching us and wanting to work together. Communicate the real story. This is a journey…but a more urgent one now!
And the final word from Dato Seri Johan: Climate Change is real It is coming at us like a deadly tsunami much fast than expected. It is time to act, and act together. Let us build the muscles and build the trust!
If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording here.