A collaborative article by the Asia Business Council and McKinsey delved into the perspectives of business leaders in Asia as they navigate an emerging and potentially more turbulent era, in terms of world order, technology, demographics, resource and energy systems, and financial capitalization. Overall, they believe the region can sustain its growth but will need strategic adjustments to address disruptions and volatility in a multipolar world.
Asian cities are significant contributors to climate change. Cities in the region are also hubs of economic activity, centers of financial capital and talent, and incubators of innovation and progress. The report offers frameworks, recommendations, and case studies to illustrate how cities could leverage their unique strengths and evolve their development models to concurrently pursue climate resilience, poverty reduction, and biodiversity protection goals.
At the COP27 meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh, climate negotiators laid out a plan to implement the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The private sector must play a role in meeting climate targets and can build on that momentum. With this statement, Asian business leaders have committed to taking climate action and to safeguarding and managing nature sustainably.
The Council also conducted a survey (see box on the left below) to understand what drives corporate climate action in Asia, and what policies could accelerate decarbonization. See below for more on the key policy drivers we identified, and why we believe climate change should be a core part of the region’s economic growth strategy.
Climate change will have material impacts for corporations, particularly in Asia where physical and transition risks are significant. Accordingly, Asian companies have acknowledged the importance of sustainability and are now making commitments to reach net-zero carbon emissions within set timeframes.
But how are these commitments affecting their business strategies and changing their operations? And which policies could support an acceleration of their climate action?
To answer these questions, the Asia Business Council surveyed its members ahead of the COP27 conference. For the first time in 2022, a separate section was added to the Council’s Annual Survey with climate-related questions.
The survey results highlight the main drivers of Council members’ climate action and the strategies they prioritize for reaching net zero carbon emissions. It also reveals the key challenges they see for decarbonization and, crucially, the government policies that would help accelerate their climate action.
Much like carbon emissions, companies will soon be expected to monitor their impact on biodiversity. Measures to promote and preserve biodiversity will need to go beyond greenwashing practices like pledges to plant trees.
As Asian economies face recession worries, many are putting climate action on the back burner – but climate resilience goes hand in hand with economic stability.
Asia’s economic growth and development have been unparalleled over the past 75 years. Poverty has declined continuously and more rapidly than at any time in recorded history, and significant welfare gains have been achieved. These achievements have been driven by Asia’s growing participation in international trade and global value chains, which underpin the globalization process. More broadly, globalization refers to the integration of economies that has been achieved through growing levels of international trade, finance, and investment, and through the mounting exchanges of people, ideas, and data.
The success of the government’s green bond scheme provides plenty of scope for investing in groundbreaking energy projects and pursuing ambitious climate policy. Yet, our leaders can’t seem to think bigger than a few low-carbon buildings and waste management fees.
Increasing supply chain resilience in Asia can help blunt the worst effects of climate change, improve biodiversity and closed loop thinking, and even help eradicate the scourge of modern slavery.
Legco’s approval of the waste charging bill comes with a request for a delay in implementation that makes little sense. The success of the recycling schemes in Taipei and Seoul underline the role civil society can play in building trust and community buy-in.