Asian Insider Podcast: UN development chief on pushing politicians, firms over climate crisis, vaccine inequity

UNDP chief Achim Steiner told ST that the announcements by the US and China at the United Nations General Assembly are "not yet enough".
UNDP chief Achim Steiner told ST that the announcements by the US and China at the United Nations General Assembly are "not yet enough". ST PHOTO: NIRMAL GHOSH

Asian Insider Ep 77: UN development chief on pushing politicians, firms over climate crisis, vaccine inequity

17:12 mins

Synopsis: Each month, The Straits Times' US bureau chief Nirmal Ghosh presents an Asian perspective of the week's global talking points with expert guests.

The climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic's global vaccine inequity were the two main issues on the agenda at the just-concluded United Nations General Assembly by the United States and China.

In this episode, Mr Ghosh hosts the head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - Mr Achim Steiner, who is based in New York City. The UNDP's Human Development Index was created to emphasise that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone.

They discuss the following points:

1. Did events at the recent UN General Assembly by the US and China show there is concrete progress towards solving the climate crisis? (1:04)

2. How Mr Steiner assesses the state of the world in terms of vaccine equity globally (3:45)

3. Why there is a drop in the UNDP's Human Development Index for the first time in 30 years (5:45)

4. Why citizens must make their voices heard by politicians and companies that depend on them (7:42)

5. Why in 2021 - across most of the world - renewable energy is cheaper per kilowatt hour than any other fossil fuel-based energy generation (12:27)

Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh (nirmal@sph.com.sg) and Ernest Luis

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim

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