A recent report found that relatively few companies in the Asia-Pacific region have adopted net-zero carbon emission strategies to date. Nevertheless, there are grounds for cautious optimism as pacesetters in the region announce ambitious targets and experiment with innovative decarbonisation strategies.
The World Bank has issued the world’s first wildlife conservation bond, raising money to protect endangered black rhino populations in South Africa. The move comes as governments and institutions alike continue to look for innovative ways to finance environmental projects in emerging markets.
As Africa’s largest gold miner and the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, Ghana has witnessed steady growth in recent years. While the country was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, it navigated the crisis better than many of its income-level peers, in large part thanks to measures aimed at boosting public revenue. Ghana aims to improve its fiscal deficit in 2022 to 7.4% of GDP.
With a population of over 200m, Nigeria is a large and diversified economy, despite the government’s reliance on oil and gas revenue. While the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent oil price crash caused a contraction in economic growth in 2020, it also led to rapid digitalisation across commerce, education and communication. This shift is expected to put Nigeria in a favourable position for recovery in the medium term.
Higher education institutions have a leading role to play in helping emerging economies adapt to the effects of climate change, as well as to meet their net-zero goals. This role can be roughly divided into two key areas: implementing best practices and leading on research.
Plastic waste is prominent among the multiple, interlinked environmental challenges currently facing the world. Emerging markets have a significant role to play in addressing the issue, both as leading plastic consumers, and in that they are often disproportionately affected.