News Digest | 16-30 April

Asian Climate Tech Businesses: Making the Right Impact on Climate Change

Several Asian countries, including Japan, the Philippines, India, and Sri Lanka, have borne the brunt of the effects of climate change in recent years. Typhoons, storms, floods, and strong heatwaves have killed people and destroyed property and infrastructure throughout Asia. More Asian countries may soon face the catastrophic repercussions of climate change, particularly if reasonable attempts to counteract it are not made. In Asia, governments and businesses have begun to invest in climate technology in order to mitigate climate change. More than 3,000 climate tech businesses were found globally in 2021, with an estimated investment value of $87.5 billion between 2021 and the second half of 2022. Recognizing the unprecedented needs of the moment, businesses from across Asia are stepping up to support their government’s efforts to develop climate change technology. With many governments taking a stand on climate change, it is projected that more new and current firms will develop or change their business models to embrace climate tech solutions.

Singapore to tighten ‘greenwashing’ audit as climate finance grows

Singapore’s financial regulator is scrutinizing corporations that claim to have implemented climate change mitigation strategies, as the city-state markets itself as Asia’s climate financing center. The Singapore Monetary Authority unveiled a “Finance for Net Zero Action Plan”, which not only lays out broad ideas for establishing the city as a regional hub for eco-focused financing activities but also benchmarks environmental reporting standards to protect against “greenwashing,” which refers to companies giving false information about their efforts toward environmental sustainability. As governments aim to limit global warming, calls for Asian firms to adopt net-zero targets have become louder. Greenwashing, on the other hand, threatens to undermine regional attempts to shift to more environmentally friendly economies. Transition-washing, like greenwashing, refers to businesses who mislead about their commitment to sustainable methods and eco-friendly operations.

Singapore and Hong Kong to become Asia’s centres of sustainable finance

According to the latest Moody’s opinion, finance hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore are taking moves to become sustainable finance centers in the Asia Pacific area. Singapore is currently the region’s only finance hub with a green taxonomy, green and sustainable finance grant scheme, green bond principles, ESG skills training subsidy, mandatory ESG disclosure requirement, and government sustainable debt issuance. In contrast, Hong Kong has completed all five phases but is still working on a green taxonomy. Meanwhile, other regional hubs with deep domestic capital markets, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo, will benefit from a large pool of domestic issuers, government policy support, and gradual alignment with international sustainable finance standards. ESG Clarity Asia reported earlier this month that China was in talks with advisory groups and rating agencies to develop a framework for mandated ESG-related disclosures. China, Korea, and Japan lead APAC sustainable issuance, accounting for more than 79% in 2022. Looking ahead, the rating agency anticipates that APAC sustainable debt issuance will continue to deepen in terms of overall debt market penetration as policy and regulatory support supports additional sustainable finance market development in the area.

Thailand’s Extreme Heat Predicted to Continue Into Summer

The scorching weather continues from last week, when Thailand reached 45° C for the first time, according to Maximiliano Herrera, a professional climatologist and weather historian who manages the “Extreme Temperatures Around the World” weather watch. According to experts, Thailand’s present scorching heat will last till the end of summer. High temperatures that have felt like more than 50 degrees Celsius, along with humidity, have prompted local authorities to issue warnings to residents not to go outside. The Thai Meteorological Department issued a warning about rising temperatures across the country. In recent days, Bangkok has seen temperatures of around 37° Celsius on a daily basis, while the humidity has made it feel much higher. April and May, before the rainy season begins, are often the hottest months in Southeast Asia. According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s Meteorological Department has stated that the country is nearing the end of the hot season and that summer would conclude by mid-May.


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