ESG Series #7: Are climate goals and economic development on a collision course? As COP26 gets underway in Glasgow, the energy transition is top of mind. Shifting energy production away from coal, oil and natural gas toward greener energy sources like wind and solar power and renewable fuels is critical to cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. In the Asia-Pacific region, there is no clear consensus on the shape of the energy transition. And there is no path to meaningful reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions that does not lead through Asia, which accounts for 60% of the world’s population and 75% of global carbon emissions.
Climate, capital and energy are truly global in reach. The choices being made today – in allocating capital and in shaping energy and industrial policies – could either reduce or increase the most severe climate impacts around the world for at least the next century. It is a huge challenge to make development both rapid and sustainable. Asia is experiencing substantial population growth and massive economic development. Energy use per capita is rising fast along with the rise in GDP and the buildout of cities, industries and the critical infrastructure that sustains them. The opportunities to invest in new energy assets – whether sustainable or not – are plentiful. Innovative technologies like battery storage and green hydrogen are exciting for the future, but Asia is scaling up its energy sector now. What does that urgency mean for the current investment climate and for the future of the Earth’s climate?
In this episode, host Allan Marks sits down with Milbank partners James Murray and James Orme in Singapore and former Milbank partner Cathy Marsh, now at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, to look at the energy transition in Asia and the Pacific.
About the Speakers
James Murray is a partner in the Singapore office of Milbank and a member of the firm’s Project, Energy and Infrastructure Finance Group. He represents parties in the development and financing of power, oil and gas, mining, telecoms and other infrastructure projects, and has advised clients on projects and financings across Asia.
James Orme is a partner in the Singapore office of Milbank and a member of the firm’s Project, Energy and Infrastructure Finance Group. He has significant experience advising clients on the financing and development of complex, large-scale energy and infrastructure projects, many of which involve multi-sourced financing arrangements and multiple tiers of debt.
Catherine Marsh is Assistant General Counsel of Nonsovereign Operations at A