AS a region familiar with the fearsome potential of natural disasters – 80 per cent of the Asean region is surrounded by water and is prone to water-related disasters – the heat has been on, both literally and figuratively to tackle climate change.
One of the ways economies are doing this is by pouring more investments into renewable energy, improving their urban planning, and reducing consumption.
According to the report Southeast Asia’s Green Economy: Opportunities On The Road To Net Zero, South-east Asia needs US$2 trillion of investment this decade to cut emissions and remain competitive globally.
Released in September, the report, by Bain & Company, Microsoft and Temasek Holdings, also noted that acting now could lead to about US$1 trillion in economic opportunities with new growth areas contributing about 6 to 8 per cent to the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.
It also picked up on 3 areas the region should focus on: transiting to green energy; valuing nature; and transforming the agri-food sector to make it more efficient, less polluting and less environmentally damaging.
Within the renewable energy space, solar power is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the region largely due to how quickly it can be rolled out, said Jasper Wong, head of construction and infrastructure, sector solutions group at UOB.