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New Whitepaper Reveals Trillion-Dollar Opportunity for Corporate Climate Action in Asia

Read the full report here
  • 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

Singapore—A 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.

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.”

“Unmitigated climate change is the biggest threat of our generation. The world economy could lose more than 18% of current GDP if no action on climate change is taken. And the impact would be significantly higher in Asia, at almost 26%,” said Neeraj Aggarwal, Chair, BCG Asia-Pacific. “At the same time, Asia is at a pivotal juncture in its history, where beyond its vulnerability, it also represents the biggest economic opportunity for global climate action. The time is right for Asian leaders to make bold strides for the good of their businesses, and the world.”

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.

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Eugenia Siah
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About World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent, sustainable enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: SAP customers generate 87% of total global commerce. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com

About BCG’s Southeast Asia Center for Climate & Sustainability

BCG’s Southeast Asia Center for Climate & Sustainability brings together the best of BCG's global expertise and offering to the region, leveraging Singapore as the hub to drive climate action and leading change for the future. Adopting a multifaceted approach, the Southeast Asia Center for Climate & Sustainability covers four key, distinct strategic areas: powering green ventures and investments, building cutting-edge capabilities, enriching partnerships to maximize impact, and enhancing skillsets for tomorrow.