The transition to net zero emissions is a massive opportunity for Asia, which currently accounts for over half of global emissions. Strong climate action in line with the Paris Agreement's 1.5-degree temperature limit could add $47 trillion dollars in gains to the Asia-Pacific economy by 2070.
The level of climate ambition by Asia and its emerging economies will also significantly influence the world’s temperature trajectory. According to the latest science from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world must peak global emissions by 2025 and reduce them to net zero by the middle of the century to maintain reasonable hope of achieving the 1.5-degree target. Many countries in Asia are already feeling the adverse effects of global warming such as more frequent heatwaves, droughts and floods.
This is why major Asian economies are already stepping up with net zero pledges. But more work is needed to help governments develop concrete plans and policies to implement net zero targets, reduce emissions even faster and devise adaptation strategies.
Against this backdrop, the Asia Society Policy Institute and its former President Kevin Rudd launched the High-Level Policy Commission on Getting Asia to Net Zero in May 2022. The Commission’s diverse set of recognized Asian leaders aim to provide recommendations on how Asia and key countries can realize net zero emissions, including how climate action can boost the region’s economy, trade, interconnectedness, and livelihoods. ASPI forms the Commission’s secretariat.
The Commission’s initial workstream produced a series of reports aimed at elevating the political and policy strategies necessary to see the vision of a net zero Asia realized, including country-specific reports on India and Indonesia respectively as well as similar regional-level analysis for the Asia-Pacific. The Commission will continue building on this work in 2023 with topical-focused analysis on key barriers to net zero ahead of COP28 hosted by the Asia-Pacific Group and during the critical period of both G7 and G20 presidencies in Asia.
- Hon. BAN Ki-moon, President & Chair, Global Green Growth Institute; 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Dr. Hilda Heine, Senator for Aur, Republic of the Marshall Islands; 8th President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
- Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Jagdish N. Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy, Columbia University; Vice Chairman, 2015-2017, NITI Aayog, Republic of India
- Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri, Chairman, PT Bank Mandiri Tbk & PT XL-Axiata Tbk; Minister of Finance, 2013 – 2014, Republic of Indonesia
- NEO Gim Huay, Managing Director and Head, Center for Nature and Climate, World Economic Forum
- Vivek Pathak, Director and Global Head for Climate Business, International Finance Corporation
- Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation; Former Climate Change Ambassador, French Republic
- Hon. Dr. Kevin Rudd (active from May 2022 to March 2023), President Emeritus, Asia Society Policy Institute President & former CEO, Asia Society; 26th Prime Minister of Australia
- H.E. KONO Taro (active from May 2022 to August 2022), Member, House of Representatives, Kanagawa 15th District; Minister (multiple positions), 2017-2021, Government of Japan