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Day 2  |  8 June

A Climate Action Agenda for Asia: Priorities and entry points for action

11:00-12:30 ICT



Since the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) was unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011, public attention has turned more fully towards the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. In particular, the climate crisis with its complexity, scale, and urgency, has intensified conversations about corporate accountability in every region of the world. 


In recent years, Asia has become the focus of climate change deliberations given the climate risks the region faces and its increasing contributions to the greenhouse gases. In fact, Asia is considered the region most at risk to climate impacts in the form of extreme heat, droughts, floods, and sea level rise. And yet, Asia is also being asked to take more responsibility for its increasing GHGs emissions. In the past two decades, the world has seen a 46% rise in carbon emissions, driven largely by the growth in Asian industry. And looking ahead, Asia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) output is likely to rise.


Whether its fair to assign increased responsibility to Asia for climate solutions is debatable, especially given the larger percentage of GHG contributions made by advanced economies in other regions over a longer, historic period. Still, it is increasing clear that the decisions made by business leaders and policy makers in Asia in the next few years will have consequences for all of humanity and for generations to come.

About the session

If Asia is central to efforts to address climate change at the global levels, then industries across the region must step up to the challenge of climate change. Obstacles need to be cleared and an effective pathway forward must be charted. What actions has been taken so far, and what impacts have they had? This session will bridge conversations taking place at the international levels to the regional context, with the help of actors who have been instrumental in moving the discourse forward.



The key objectives of this session are to:

  • Define top priorities for climate action in the region, with a view to limitations and challenges facing the region

  • Articulate entry points for action, including low hanging fruit and moon shots

  • Better appreciate how far the conversation has come, to understand how far there is to go



Panelists will reflect on the following questions:

  • What evidence is there that policy makers will take bold decisions, in the face of other priorities, including poverty reduction and economic development?

  • What are the most promising entry points or mechanisms for addressing climate impacts under the trade, investment and human rights headings?

  • Does the loss and damage provision that emerged from COP27 mitigate responsibility for developing Asia? Will climate justice move the needle on action where law and policy have fallen short? What role does justice or just transitions have in accelerating action?

  • What does a roadmap for climate action look like for a region that arguably has more at stake than any other in the world?

Image by Li-An Lim
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