South Asia’s status as one of the fastest growing emerging economic regions has importantly lifted millions of households out of poverty and sets the region up as a viable hub for innovation and finance, with the International Monetary Fund [IMF] predicting that South Asia will account for a-third of the world’s growth by 2040 (pre-COVID projections). However, the effects of climate change remains a threat to the lives and livelihoods of people living in the region where three of the top five countries in terms of vulnerability to climate change globally are located. Warmer temperatures and rising sea levels would affect South Asia’s varied economies and its 1.5 billion people. Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 has also affected South Asia’s growth which includes losses of income, jobs, lives and reversals of capital flow. The immediate public response to COVID-19 from governments in this region has been to stimulate job creation and security and to promote sanitation in order to protect lives.

AVPN’s Climate Action Platform has scoped out three key considerations to enable not just South Asia, but also for the rest of developing Asia to overcome some of these barriers.

Empathic Leadership and Stewardship: Leaders are critical in spearheading the charge towards a climate positive future. We need leaders in various sectors and at different levels to wield their power boldly to direct resources towards climate action. Another quality of effective leadership is the aspect of stewardship. Empathy helps leaders understand and relate to the heart of the issues they are solving rather than just ticking off a list of material indices.

Climate Intersections: This idea stems from the principle that climate change is important and intersects with other social, ecological and economic issues such as ecosystem preservation, social equity and diversity, health and education, migration, trade etc. This helps to guide actors across different fields such as corporations, funders and social impact organisations to consider the climate as part of their work and the networks associated with it.

Mobilising Capital: Capital mobilisation is at the core of AVPN’s work and we’re constantly looking to move the continuum of capital towards impact. We do so partly by exploring new frontiers of social investments and double down on those that are successful. This topic on capital mobilisation was discussed extensively throughout the Climate Action Week, zooming into some innovative approaches to green finance and how green finance can be used more productively, essentially doing more with less.

Read the full article about overcoming barriers in South Asia by Prachi Seth at AVPN.