ADBI Working Paper Series
As an integral part of sustainable development, the impacts from climate change, including increasing water stress, more extreme weather events, the potential for high levels of migration and the disruption of international markets are critical challenges for all Asian countries. With rapid economic growth and modernization, the countries in the region are increasing production and consumption, calling for critical adaption measures. With the Asian countries and the energy sector exceedingly accounting for a large share of CO2 and GHG emissions, businesses in Asia need to increase efficiency in energy use, offset emissions, and use more low carbon or renewable energy resources. Businesses are no longer considered part of the environmental problem as they are progressively becoming part of the solutions, and if furthered by an ideal regulatory disposition this would encourage corporations to strive for zero emissions. To address these issues, this paper reviews selected initiatives taken by Asian countries to comply with emerging global sustainability standards, reporting, and management systems, and tracks the response of Asian businesses to global environmental concerns, examines market based innovations including new regulations that augmented corporate excellence, and identifies future directions for business that lead low carbon society. It recommends governments and business to join forces in supporting low carbon initiatives, drawing upon market mechanisms through reconfiguring national environmental policies and strategies.