“As the beneficiaries of the dynamism of Asian economic transformation, and the custodians of its future sustainability, we need to recognise the direct and systemic risks climate change poses for our region. We need to celebrate the disproportionately aggressive targets we have set for climate mitigation, but also acknowledge that our efforts will fall short of what is needed. Most of all we need to resist false pretensions of grandeur about climate leadership. It is a collective burden we carry,” said Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW while delivering a lecture at the India Habitat Centre on 25 July.
Dr Arunabha Ghosh’s public lecture 'Can Asia Change the Climate? : Risks, Responses and Leadership for Climate Action' was hosted by the Society for Policy Studies in association with the India Habitat Centre as part of the 'Changing Asia Series'.
Dr Ghosh’s lecture premised on six propositions: Climate risks for Asia are real… and now; climate responses in Asia are aggressive… but inadequate; climate leadership is diffuse… and misunderstood; climate politics needs a reimagining of institutions; climate economics needs to defeat persisting mercantilism; and climate ethics needs more voices in ungoverned terrains.
Dr Ghosh said the talk of passing of the mantle of climate leadership to China was flawed as there are three different Asias when it comes to climate politics — China, which stands apart in terms of its economic size and share of emissions; India along with several other South and South East Asian economies which are rapidly growing and still have hundreds of millions in poverty; and the Central and West Asia with limited diversification in their economic structure and limited capabilities to develop the industries of the future.
Concluding the lecture, Dr Ghosh said, “Asia – and India – can, indeed, change the climate. Climate and energy-related institutions need new designs and collaborative platforms. Climate economics will deliver the greatest benefits if we forego foolhardy attempts to capture niche market shares in favour of developing supply chains for climate friendly goods and services – and create new prosperity and jobs as a result. Climate ethics requires new voices on new issues, from explaining energy transitions, to governing geoengineering, to calling for a more open, inclusive and transparent climate regime.”
Read the lecture: Can Asia Change the Climate? : Risks, Responses and Leadership for Climate Action