SINGAPOREA new whitepaper published today by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Southeast Asia Centre for Climate & Sustainability, and SAP, a market leader in enterprise software, reveals the revenue and job opportunities available for Asian organisations investing in corporate climate action.

  • Climate change could have a disproportionate impact on Asian economies and people
  • Despite challenges, Asia could see big revenue and job benefits from targeted climate action
  • New World Economic Forum report, in collaboration with BCG and SAP, explores risks, challenges, and opportunities for climate action in Asia, and outlines a best practice for corporate climate action

The report, titled Accelerating Asia’s Advantage: A Guide to Corporate Climate Action, notes that a revenue opportunity of USD$4.3 trillion is available for Asian businesses by 2030 from activities like the expansion of renewable power, energy efficiency in buildings, and greater circularity in producing industries, making up a 43% share of the global total. Similarly, 58% of the jobs required to service those opportunities will be situated in Asia, creating as many as 232 million roles for the region.

“Asia is key on the journey towards net zero,” said Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director, Centre for Nature and Climate, World Economic Forum. “Asia accounts for 51% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. More than half of annual emissions are from industries like electricity, manufacturing, and land use. Business has a strong role in cutting emissions and climate action. To scale, accelerate, and sustain efforts, business needs to collaborate with government and communities, harness innovation, and build partnerships across their value chains.”

The whitepaper makes clear the impact of inaction on Asia. Beyond the widespread environmental and individual impact, the report notes extreme climate change is expected to drastically affect Asian economies. Based on a severe increase of 3.2°C by 2050, Asia is projected to see a reduction in GDP by over 26%. Southeast Asia is predicted to experience a GDP reduction of 37%—by far the worst around the globe.

“The business case for climate action is clear,” said Paul Marriott, APJ President at SAP. “We know that 50% of Asian businesses believe addressing environmental issues will be material to business results within the next five years. Organizations who ignore or hedge their climate strategies gamble their ethics, revenues, and competitive advantage.”

“The need for corporate climate action is urgent. The report offers a framework outlining actions leaders can take across immediate and mid-term timeframes, as well as strategies to enable long-term growth through climate action,” said Neeraj Aggarwal, Chairman of BCG Asia-Pacific. “The report also provides best practices from Southeast Asian organizations who have already begun to make progress on climate action.”

The preliminary findings of Accelerating Asia’s Advantage: A Guide to Corporate Climate Action were discussed during a session at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos-Klosters earlier this year.

“The Net-Zero challenge requires urgent public-private co-operation on a global scale. The Forum engages and builds multi-stakeholder platforms to scale and accelerate the climate and nature agenda,” said Gim Huay Neo. “Only through fostering trust and collaboration can we safeguard our global commons and secure a net zero, nature positive and better living future for all of us and generations to come.”

More information and the full Accelerating Asia’s Advantage: Your Guide to Corporate Climate Action report is available here.