Turning commitment into action is crucial to achieving net-zero targets by 2050. COP26 has highlighted the urgency of climate issues and pushed countries into launching green action plans. Covid-19, meanwhile, has uncovered deficiencies in the social infrastructure particularly with regard to protecting the health and promoting the welfare of the people. Both require deliberate action to shift the world’s trajectory away from certain tragedy to a sustainable future.
Asia, which accounts for over 50% of global greenhouse gas emissions, must exercise resolve in its transition journey. In the wake of rapid urbanization and industrialization over the past two decades, the region needs to enter a new phase that puts a premium on circular economy solutions, resilient and renewable energy sources, green cities, and clean transport.
This is not only about leveraging resources wisely but unlocking the power of finance, relying on more climate-friendly technology, developing talent, greening procurement processes, and improving supply chain resilience. Most importantly, we need to strengthen collaboration among governments, the private sector, and financial institutions to translate plans into opportunities.
Sustainable finance offers a way to support these ambitions. The issuance of green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked (GSSS) bonds reached US$331 billion as of December 2021. The social bond market, in particular, doubled in size from the previous year, a reflection of how this pandemic is shining the light on the myriad of deficiencies today. The volume of green and sustainable loans also soared, reaching US$98 billion during the period.
However, the rising popularity of sustainable finance has heightened the risk of greenwashing. Investors now require high-quality ESG data and standardized taxonomy to ensure that their funds contribute towards delivering positive outcomes for the environment and society. And as investors grow in sophistication, the demand for more diversified sustainable products will only grow.
The Asset Events+ is delighted to be organizing Asia-Pacific’s leading ESG forum – the 5th ESG Summit. The event brings together ESG thought leaders from top companies, organizations, investment funds and financial institutions to discuss the rapidly-evolving sustainability landscape.
What to expect