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Asia faces threats from climate change. Here’s what can be done


On May 11, 2018, a boy in Allahabad (India) searches for food left in plastic bags along the roadside. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, more than 57 million people will be affected by Asia’s climate catastrophes in 2021.

Sanjay Kanojia | Afp | Getty Images

Asia is the region most at risk from climate change. However, it also has the largest contributors to global warming.

Climate disasters had already affected more than 57 million residents of the region by 2021. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported.

Asia’s risk is growing.

According to the aforementioned report, in the worst case scenario, most people who live in regions with high probability of deadly and lethal waves by 2050 will have moved to Asia. 2020 report by McKinsey Global Institute.

It United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a highly anticipated reportOn Monday stating that current efforts to tackle climate change are simply not enough.

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C,” IPCC Working Group III co-chair Jim Skea said. It will not be possible without immediate, deep emission reductions in all sector sectors.

And yet, efforts to mitigate that risk haven’t been adequate on several fronts — especially when it comes to China and India, two of the top three contributors to global emissions in addition to the U.S.

Because Asia is the largest contributor to global decarbonization efforts, it plays an important role. almost half of global greenhouse gas emissions. The region is not a perfect picture. Each country’s vulnerability and culpability are different.

China and India

According to AIRE, China’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions were higher than the entire developed world in 2019. 2021 report by research and consulting firm Rhodium Group.

Dimitri de Boer, chief representative of ClientEarth China, an environmental charity, acknowledged that China has stepped up efforts to fight climate change — by pledging to stop building coal power plants overseas, and supporting other countries in developing renewable energy systems.

But he pointed out that the Chinese economy remains heavily dependent upon coal which could slow down its growth.

Gabriel Lau, professor-emeritus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong also acknowledged the achievements of China. However, he stressed that renewable energy resources must be more widely conserved and educated the public.

India is, on its own, expected to seeThe next twenty years will see the greatest increase in global energy demand. According to IQAir (a Swiss technology company that monitors air quality), none of these cities met World Health Organization guidelines.

Setting a deadline 50 years away is by no means a cop-out — we don’t have that option anymore.

Avinash Kumar

Greenpeace India

India’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2070 may be a step in the right direction. However, it still requires “rigour and good practice” in order to reach its goals, Avinash, climate campaign manager for Greenpeace India (a non-profit organization), told CNBC via email.

He added that, in addition to incentives from the government, energy transition should also be driven by large industries.

“Setting a deadline 50 years away is by no means a cop-out — we don’t have that option anymore,” he said. It cannot continue as normal with the new fossil fuel projects and open-cast mining, nor with the dilution or enforcement of environmental laws.

Asia’s developing countries

However, Asia has many countries that are most at risk.

“There isn’t necessarily one Asia — we have many different parts of Asia … that are all quite different in their economic structures, their degree of integration, and with that, their exposure to climate change,” said Jonathan Woetzel, director of McKinsey Global Institute.

For example, the sea level in Southeast Asia is rising at a faster rate than anywhere else. bears the bruntThere are many climate risks.It is because of the large number of low-lying, lower-per capita GDP countries in this region such as Cambodia or Myanmar.

Floods, heatwaves. droughts. cloudbursts are causing people to lose their lives. It is impossible for them to wait 50 more years before they see climate change on the ground.

Avinash Kumar

Climate campaign manager at Greenpeace India

Greenpeace India’s Kumar Kumar stated that developing countries must take on greater financial accountability. 

“The $100 billion commitment promised by rich countries to developing countries back in 2009 is yet to be delivered,” Kumar said. The current situation is that developing countries do not have enough funds to mitigate climate change.

Future prospects

Kumar stated that the next 10 year will be critical and that there must be stricter plans for reducing emissions to halve by 2030 in COP27. This is the UN’s next climate summit.

He added that “people are dying from floods. heatwaves. droughts. cloudbursts. and many other climate-related events.” “They can’t wait 50 more years before they see climate change on the ground.”