Rethinking Economic Risk and Opportunity in the Face of Degradation & Extreme Events makes good sense considering the trends in climatic change and increasing severity of weather-related expenses. This following information about the invitation to the UN Press Briefing & Dialogue is from UNEP.

“Smarter, Greener, Cleaner?

Market Leaders and Top Experts Rethink Economic Risk & Opportunity
 As Degradation and Extreme Events Challenge World’s Most Populous Region

Tuesday, 23 May 2017, from 12:00 to 15:00 hrs.
Chief Scientist at UN Environment, Jian Liu
Chairman of Global CEO Alliance, James Donovan
CEO, AXA Insurance, Thailand, Martin Rueegg
Director of UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources & UK Energy Research Centre, Professor Paul Ekins
Professor of Environment and Development / Global South, Amsterdam University, Joyeeta Gupta
The Foreign Correspondents Club, Bangkok

Unprecedented economic growth is putting heavy pressure on natural resources in the Asia-Pacific region.  Unsustainable consumption patterns have led to worsening water quality, air pollution, land degradation and waste generation; threatening human and environmental health and costing the economy billions, annually.  Consider this:

  •        About 30% of people living in the region depend on drinking water contaminated by human waste.
  •        Peat burning, to clear land for agriculture, resulted in worsening air quality and trans-boundary smoke and haze; costing the region  an estimated US $16 billion during the 2015 wildfires.
  •        Annual labor income losses caused by air pollution’s health impacts cost the equivalent of almost 1 percent of GDP in South Asia, while short-lived climate pollutants contribute to 102 deaths per 100,000 people in Western pacific.
  •        Natural forest areas in Southeast Asia, recognized as global biodiversity hotspots, are being deforested annually by more than 1 million hectares, resulting in hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year between2005-2015.
Destroying Nature Is Destroying Life Poster by Robin Wood

Destroying Nature Is Destroying Life Poster by Robin Wood

The region is also the most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather events and natural disasters, with climate change costing the regional economy an estimated US $1,076 billion and impacting the lives of 4.5 billion people in the last 15 years. Yet, the region continues to be the largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Smarter, greener and cleaner investments of around US $2.5 trillion a year, between 2013 and 2030, can transform the region into a hub for sustainability.  Growing financial and capital markets provide a unique opportunity for innovative policies, regulations and standards that can align private capital flows to the financing needs of sustainable development.   Without climate-oriented, greener development policies, over 100 million people in Asia-Pacific could be forced into extreme poverty by 2030, wiping out poverty reduction gains achieved over the last decade.

So, are we moving in the right direction? Fast enough? Soon enough?

The Press Briefing and Open Dialogue are held on the back of consultations involving 80 top world scientists convened by UN Environment  from 22 to 25 May 2017 to produce the sixth edition of the most authoritative report on the state of the world environment known as the Global Environment Outlook 6 (GEO-6).

Lunch and refreshments will be served during the course of the event.

Please send an email confirmation to:, no later than 17 May 2017

For more information, please contact:
Shereen Zorba, Head, Science-Policy & Knowledge Networks, UN Environment, , Tel/Whatsapp: +254 788 526 000, Skype: shereen.zorba ”