With the crucible of the pandemic finally fading, attention is turning to other shared global challenges, leading to increasing pressure for action as time to stablise the climate runs short. The Economist last year described ESG as "three letters that won't save the planet," arguing that they should be reduced to one measure: E for emissions. Whether the climate can ever be stabilised depends largely on Asia, which produces and consumes three-quarters of the world's coal. Asia also produces most of the world's cement and steel, activities which release copious quantities of greenhouse gases. Currently, roughly half of China's electricity comes from coal, and energy security has again become a priority amid the energy transition. So in any conversation about sustainability or ESG, emissions are consequential.
Within Asia, all eyes are on China, with its ambitious decarbonisation targets and determination to achieve a sustainable and greener economy. But sustainable growth is not something that can be solved by policymakers alone. Private enterprise also has an important role to play. Together with business leaders and sustainability experts, we will consider opportunities and challenges related to China's green transition.
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