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By Michael C. Huang. Posted May 28, 2021
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, of which economic losses are estimated at $221 billion (EM-DAT), making it the most costly natural disaster recorded since 1900. The earthquake itself did not cause significant damage or casualties, but the subsequent 5–20 meter tsunami hit northern coastal areas, washing away townships and destroying the cooling system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. To date, the recovery process is still ongoing to restore industries and economic activities to their pre-disaster levels.
Global climate change caused by human activities will continue to be catastrophic for humanity. In particular, climate change is having serious impacts on the world’s water systems (United Nations 2020), and changes in these systems can have an enormous impact on people’s lives. This is because water plays a critical role in the very existence of all forms of life on earth as the foundation of human well-being and prosperity (Asian Development Bank 2020) and a source of life and livelihoods.
By Sayuri Shirai. Posted April 16, 2021
ESG investment aims to encourage companies to consider environment (E), social (S), and corporate governance (G) issues by raising their long-term corporate value. It is becoming indispensable for filling the funding shortfalls needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the global temperature increase this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and desirably within 1.5 degrees Celsius, as well as to encourage the transformation of corporate behavior toward net-zero emissions.
Green bonds (GBs) are being used around the world as a financial tool for raising capital for projects that can benefit the environment (World Bank 2019). The money raised by GB issuances can fund investment in programs that enhance adaptation and mitigate the effects of climate change, such as projects for clean energy, public transport, and clean water. The GB concept was proposed by the World Bank in its Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change in 2008 to help countries around the world raise capital for strategies for solving the problems of air pollution and global climate change (Trang 2015).
By Saraswati Upadhaya. Posted March 19, 2021
Human activity is accelerating climate change, and those most at risk are vulnerable populations in developing countries that are already suffering from chronic poverty. These countries also tend to be ones that contribute only negligibly to climate change. The changing climate is waiting for no one—most of us have already experienced, read, or researched its impacts, and scientists have gravely warned of the consequences in the form of wildfires, droughts, floods, and landslides, among others.
By Derek Hondo. Posted February 19, 2021
As the population in Asia continues to grow, so too will consumption trends. This population growth will continue to have significant impacts on the way goods are manufactured and consumed, as the global “take, make, and dispose” lifestyle has already put enormous stress on raw materials and energy resources.
By Rabindra Nepal. Posted November 20, 2020
Asia needs to rely on energy efficiency improvements to meet its growing energy demand, which has been driven by industrialisation, urbanisation, and rising incomes among the ballooning middle class. Energy efficiency improvements and investments in green technology development and deployment are necessary to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. However, the question of how to finance these improvements in energy efficiency and the greater deployment of renewable energy sources is serving to be a significant challenge in this important economic region.
Climate change can have a material impact on sovereign risk through direct and indirect effects on public finances. In addition, climate change raises the cost of capital in climate vulnerable countries and threatens debt sustainability. Governments must climate-proof their economies and public finances or potentially face an ever-worsening spiral of climate vulnerability and unsustainable debt burdens.
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