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Asia and the Pacific ready for COP26 and beyond

Many of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change as well as seven of the G20 countries responsible for over half of global greenhouse gas emissions are from Asia and the Pacific. These are the facts, and they need to spur us to raise our ambitions to urgently address climate change and keep to the 1.5-degree target. 

The starting point is not encouraging, however. Our region is falling even further behind in its efforts: greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase by 34 per cent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. The good news is that momentum for climate action is building. 

Leaders have been lining up to make their carbon neutrality pledges, shrinking the gap from commitment to action. Everything from renewable energy to cleaner forms of transport and greening our cities show that it is no longer business as usual. Indeed, we can also make our trade and investment more climate-smart. A growing number of countries include the climate and environment-related provisions in trade agreements. 

To support these ambitions, we need to unlock the power of finance and align it towards tomorrow’s green industries and jobs. Innovative financial instruments and debt-for-climate swaps can help mobilize additional funding. Putting a price on carbon can help drive economic activity up and emissions down. 

Most importantly, all of this action must be people centred. For nearly two years now, we have seen the combination of disasters, pandemics and climate change expand the number of people in vulnerable situations and raise the “riskscape.” It is clear that without concerted action, carbon neutrality is not within reach of the Asia-Pacific region by 2050. Our leaders simply cannot afford to go to Glasgow with insufficient ambition and return empty-handed. 

The time is now for governments, the private sector and financial institutions to band together to turn the full power of the region’s ingenuity and dynamism into the net zero development pathway. 

We hope you can join us in Glasgow or here online to support our efforts for a viable future for Asia and the Pacific.  

Thank you.