For almost three decades, governments have met nearly every year to forge a global response to climate change. In this year’s 26th iteration of the meeting (aka COP26), over 120 world leaders are attending the meeting scheduled to be held at Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 Oct to 12 Nov.
What’s different about COP this time, you might ask? Well, activists are saying this is the world’s “last best chance” to get the climate emergency under control, more so as the speed and frequency of extreme weather takes its toll on our lives. On the agenda are 6 key issues which include rapid emission cuts, climate financing for poorer nations, and creating carbon markets.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.” Wouldn’t you agree?
🌎 Rallying the world to fight climate change
Rich countries fall short of $100bn aid target for poorer nations [The National]
Shortfall in COP goal of mobilising finance - According to the UN, developed nations have said in 2009 they would jointly mobilise $100bn per year by 2020 in support of climate action in developing countries. But total funds only rose to $79.6bn by 2019 and the goal was also missed in 2020.
Who’ll fund the shortfall? - The wealthy countries expected to stump up the money are mainly in Europe and North America, but also include Australia, Japan and New Zealand. The EU is also urging other countries to find more money by cutting fossil fuel subsidies.
What’s the money for? - Basically infrastructure and new technology that can help developing countries which are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It’s hard enough for rich countries to adjust to the need to remove fossil fuels and carbon from their own economies, and it’s going to be more challenging in poorer nations, where there is far less money to fund climate action.
Southeast Asia needs $2 trillion of investments to reduce emissions [CNBC]
Under pressure to decarbonise - SE Asia needs $2 trillion worth of investments over the next decade to build sustainable infrastructure that can cut down the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, a new report from Bain & Company, Microsoft and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings showed.
Sowing seeds for greener future - The report found that about 90% of SE Asia’s carbon emissions can be addressed by transitioning away from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources like wind and solar, valuing nature and making the region’s agricultural production of food more efficient. This will be challenging as coal remains Asia’s dominant fuel source whereby China and Japan are big investors in coal power.
Economic fruits of labour - If countries take action today, then by 2030 the region’s green economy could contribute about $1 trillion worth of economic opportunities and create around 5-6 million new jobs. Additionally, if the region can effectively address climate change, SE Asia can stand to gain US$12.5 trillion in economic value over the next 50 years.
How Asia’s smallholder farmers can endure both climate change and Covid-19 [Eco-Business]
Feeding the region - In Asia, over 450 million smallholder farmers support the bulk of food supplies. Despite their small land size, they produce up to 80% of the food consumed in the region. But as you might’ve guessed, farmers are facing the double whammy of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Achieving scalable solutions, a challenge - To support farmers against the threats of climate change, some experts agree that new technologies and smart agriculture techniques will be among the biggest drivers. But at the same time, they cannot be standalone solutions as agribusinesses must know how to create change at scale, especially with smallholder farmers.
At the end of the day, these tools and technological innovations—from using drone imaging to smart sensors for crops—need to function seamlessly with the brick and mortar infrastructure that smallholder farmers have.
✊ Let's take climate action
- Explainer: What are the economic stakes of climate change?
- Ask the expert: What will COP26 mean for Asian businesses?
- TED talk: Why climate change is a threat to human rights
- Opinion: How the fight against climate change can get real at COP26
(Want to know how your carbon footprint compares with other people? Try this out!)