From renewable energy grids and green transport to risk management systems and climate finance, carbon neutrality must be at the heart of national development strategies.
Faced with the challenges of climate change, ageing populations and digitalisation, governments must act to protect their workforce. Active labour market policies, universal healthcare and social protection are all needed if countries are to avoid losing their engine of growth.
The region has made tremendous progress in the past 75 years, but now it faces a series of overlapping and cascading challenges. We need crisis-prepared policies to protect our most vulnerable populations and get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
G20 members of the Asia-Pacific are responsible for over half of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the region is falling further behind. A realignment of finance and investment towards green industries and jobs is needed.
The pandemic has shown how technology can help fight the virus, sustain daily life, support business continuity and keep people socially connected. As societies across the Asia-Pacific rebuild, they must integrate ICT into policies affecting older people.
With climate risks set to cost the region up to US$1.3 trillion a year, and most countries still ill-prepared for overlapping crises, more must be done to ensure populations and infrastructure are more resilient.
The pandemic has taught us that countries in the Asia-Pacific region can no longer put off protecting development gains from adverse shocks. With 89 million more people in the region pushed back into extreme poverty, policy packages should align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Women have been vital in the pandemic response but there are still too few women decision-makers in the public sector. For recovery to be effective and inclusive in the Asia-Pacific region, more must be done, and quickly.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects create more jobs than fossil fuel projects and can make communities more inclusive, particularly for women and children, and more resilient in future crises.
The Asia-Pacific can claim some triumphs in women’s rights, like greater educational parity and lower maternal mortality. More needs to be done to empower women, though, including through a regional scaling up of initiatives in individual countries.