Since the Paris Agreement was signed, the world continues to experience extremes of climate change as signatories to the accord struggle to meet their climate goals.
Climate change is severely affecting smallholder farmers in Africa, who represent the majority of the agriculture sector across the continent.
This month, G20 leaders will endorse guiding principles for “quality infrastructure investment”, a priority for Japan. China’s support of these principles signals a willingness to address criticism of its Belt and Road Initiative. China and Japan, rivals in delivering high-speed rail, appear open to collaborating on projects that would meet high sustainability standards, writes Motoko Aizawa, President of the Observatory for Sustainable Infrastructure, who for 12 years headed the Policy and Standards Unit in the Environmental and Social Department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Deforestation lets countries develop economically through commodity production, mining, and infrastructure-building, but makes many previously forested areas unsuitable for people and animals. The solution to this isn’t reforestation—it’s natural regeneration. Nature is our best ally and business partner.
Humans have altered the planet to such an extent that it has entered a new age. The Anthropocene requires a new way to think about how humans relate to the planet.
Growing media and societal attention on environmental issues has prompted researchers to examine factors that contribute to making companies greener. New research has found that corporations with more women in their leadership teams are less likely to be accused of breaching environmental law.
Air pollution has countless victims—nearly nine out of ten people across the globe breathe polluted air, according to the World Health Organization. New research suggests that it even reaches the unborn, moving from a mother’s lungs to the placenta and fetus. Not only does it cause health and economic ill-effects, but it also impacts human cognition.
The global economy is currently organized in an environmentally damaging way: goods are produced, used, and discarded. The shared economy and the platform economy offer alternatives, but not solutions. The key to a more sustainable economy could lie in the combination of the two.
Many parts of Asia are affected by high levels of air pollution. The continent is home to some of the most polluted megacities in the world, including Beijing and Shanghai in China, and Delhi and Kolkata in India. While these places suffer all year round, several countries in Southeast Asia face a unique air pollution problem that is seasonal, but no less dire.
The worldwide debate over more environmentally friendly energy is replete with myths that slow down the uptake of renewables. In fact, renewable energy is increasingly competitive, and the transition is entirely feasible for ASEAN countries today.
Climate change means that drought is likely to scourge larger parts of the world, and more often, with serious impacts on agriculture and food supply. Drought episodes are generally tackled via ad hoc policy support measures. As the Australian case shows, such responses should be replaced with longer-term policy interventions across good and bad seasonal conditions.
Having built the world’s second-largest economy on the back of its mammoth manufacturing sector, China is now contending with not just environmental problems but also economic obstacles. Policies that make businesses greener can raise costs, and negative impacts on labor must be mitigated.
With environmental and societal concerns coming to the forefront of global discussion, adopting green finance is a matter of highest urgency. In Asia, the shift has already begun. Banks, funds, and companies are increasingly building systems for and investing in greener projects.
Carbon pricing has been widely considered for the past 25 years as a useful tool to help combat climate change. Adoption has progressed, but the pace has been glacial. As the U.S. retreats from climate change leadership, China, as shown by its embrace of emissions trading, is stepping in to fill the vacuum.
The transition to renewable energy in Southeast Asia has been widely publicized and lauded, but a closer look reveals that non-carbon-intensive power sources can also cause damage and enhance inequalities. A more effective strategy would focus on reducing demand.
The Dongjiang River, which supplies fresh water to almost 40 million people, is being threatened by pollution. But as new technology parks increasingly replace pig farms and other decaying industries, there could be an opportunity to invent more sustainable solutions—for Guangdong province, Hong Kong, and the world.
It is well known that air pollution is harmful to human health. What is much less known is how it specifically affects people over the long term. China’s Huai River policy, which dispensed free coal to northern China for winter heating, has inadvertently revealed to us that air pollution literally shaves years off our lives. But China has made considerable progress in confronting this pollution.
Many of the earliest of the great civilizations on Earth were centered on life-giving rivers, such as the Yangtze and the Euphrates, the Nile and the Indus. Rivers remain crucial to modern societies, but pollution is choking the life out of them. For humanity’s sake, governments must act to counter this. The good news is that they already have the tools.