Charting a sustainable future

Recharging Asean's approach to climate transition

Rewiring of economy is needed, and possible with a tactical and structural approach

A worker checking cables on a solar power farm. The writer says that Asean should link the ACRF and its implementation plan with their climate change and sustainable development agendas. This will be a catalyst for change across the board; with governments setting the agenda, the private sector will be in a better position to mobilise. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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Covid-19 has had a devastating toll on Asean economies but it's easy to forget that another crisis looms - climate change - to which the region is deeply vulnerable.

While all Asean members have made Paris pledges, implementation has not been easy with huge infrastructure and funding gaps. If nothing is done, the economic impact of climate change will be profound - estimated GDP per capita loss for Asean members range from 0.7 per cent to 8.5 per cent by 2100. And this doesn't even take into account societal or environmental impacts.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2021, with the headline Recharging Asean's approach to climate transition. Subscribe