Asia will play ‘significant role’ in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions
Asia has a big role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the continent looks to innovate with regards to its ESG strategy.
That was the view of Jonathan Berney, managing partner at Accelerated Infrastructure Capital Limited (AIC), who joined Capacity’s Saf Malik to discuss ESG innovation in Asia at Datacloud ESG Summit in Oslo, Norway.
There is a necessity, Berney says, particularly in China and India – two countries that represent a population of 2.8 billion people to innovate in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The challenge is less of an ESG agenda and more basic in the sense that we just don’t have enough power,” he says.
Berney says he was surprised at the number of electric vehicles he saw in China post-Covid-19, but there is still a competitive environment for power in the country.
He adds that it would be unfair to “blanket” Asia and compare it as a region to ESG strategies in the West, given that countries such as India, China and Malaysia are moving fast and will have no choice but to create sustainable infrastructure.
The comparison is especially unfair as Japan is already being innovative in terms of creating a regulatory environment and encouraging new data centres and infrastructure providers to deliver innovative solutions. Berney believes this is the same for both Hong Kong and Singapore.
Asian regulators are driving ESG innovation with intervention, Berney says.
“If you don’t comply, it’s not that you just get a fine, you don’t get to play.”
Berney doesn’t believe there is one particular regulatory model that will be successful, but if there was it would be a middle ground between what is happening in Europe and Asia.
Asia’s approach means that countries in the region can be quick to react to any potential problems it may encounter.