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Eurasia Group and president of GZERO Media Ian bremmer explained why it’s time for Asia to turn the talk on climate policy by leading without following the West’s bad examples, how the region at large – especially the heavyweights of China and India – can actually find common ground on climate despite disagreement over everything else these days, and why a lackluster COP26 won’t mean failure despite the lack of global leadership on climate.

CEO of Suntory Tak Niinami shared his perspective on why collective climate action is so complicated in a region as diverse as Asia, the need to consider hydrogen and nuclear power in addition to traditional renewables as solar and wind, and why 2050 is too far away for companies to reach net zero promises because there is no sense of urgency.

Ko Barrett, vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, explained why different countries should have different approaches to solving the common climate problem, why she hopes for a good outcome at COP26 and the particular climate risks facing Asia is facing.

Kevin rudd, former Australian Prime Minister and current CEO of the Asia Society, gave his take on regional leaders and climate laggards, the global political vacuum on the issue and the need for all Asian countries – especially the China and India – to work in sync on the climate to drastically reduce emissions.

CEO of the Sintesa group Shinta KamdanI spoke about Indonesia’s delicate balance between climate action and poverty reduction, and why women need to be more involved in global climate solutions.

Finding sustainable solutions for single-use plastics | Summit of Sustainable Development Leaders | GZERO media


On the second day, we turned to a practical application of climate solutions to a very risky topic: sustainable plastics, which to some sound like “clean coal”. What can we do to drastically reduce single-use plastics and figure out how to recycle all the rest? Who is most responsible for all of this and what are the prospects for the future? Our expert guests intervened.

Tak NiinamI explained why the application of currently available technology is as important as the development of new technologies to better dispose and recycle plastics.

Ian bremmer predicts how, over time, businesses and tech companies will be drawn into the “gravitational pull” of making plastics more sustainable because it’s in their own best interests – no one wants to be left behind.

Climate and sustainability expert of the Eurasia Group Colleen King described why plastics are such a big problem for Asia’s climate and provided examples of successful recycling initiatives in Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

Climate activist Hannah testa highlighted how plastic pollution is finally part of the times, with more and more companies stepping up to do the right thing because it is linked to climate change, and stressed the ever-pressing need to reject single-use plastics and raise awareness of the damage they cause to the oceans, the world’s largest carbon sink.

Aloke Lohia, CEO of Indorama Ventures, highlighted why most plastics should be viewed as raw materials rather than waste because they can be recycled, and the need to double that as plastics will become more expensive when we switch from fuels fossils.

Circulate Capital CEO Rob kaplan shine a light on how the recycling-driven “circular” economy could disrupt global supply chains and why sustainable plastics are a huge opportunity for investors in countries that aren’t even doing the basics like India.

CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative Sean Rein illustrated why single-use plastics are partly responsible for the shocking loss of biodiversity over the past decades, the urgency to fix the problem before it’s too late, and why governments, manufacturers and consumers all must “sing from the same song sheet” to focus on a greener use of plastic.

Tadashi maeda, Governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, stressed the need to reduce the risks of capital investment in the sector and stimulate more public-private partnerships in sustainable plastics.

Anchoring the Summit is a new research report prepared by Eurasia Group, “Unlocking Sustainable Plastics in Asia”, which advocates a much more dynamic role for the public and private sectors in Asia to tackle the proliferation of single-use plastic containers, which have had a disproportionate impact on the environment.

This summit is sponsored by Suntory and co-hosted by GZERO media and Eurasia Group.

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