I am normally a bit skeptical about the power of data to radically transform public policy. After all in the transport sector, the most serious issues of congestion, road accident fatalities and injuries and air pollution are readily obvious by looking out the window of any major Asian city. Would knowing the numbers more accurately make a difference to policy makers?
If a frog is placed in a boiling caldron, it will immediately jump out to safety. If the same frog is placed in water, which is slowly heated to boiling, the frog will tranquilly remain and eventually die from overheating.
This biological anecdote is frequently utilized as a metaphor for our political state of affairs over global climate change. As the planet slowly heats and succumbs to gradual change we unwittingly accustomize without sensing the dangers that await us. The lessons from this phenomenon also encompass the state of our cities and the transport sector.
Starting 22 February, Asian Development Bank (ADB) is holding its second No Impact Week challenge for individuals to cut their carbon footprint, following the success of the pilot event in January 2013.
Asian countries are increasingly turning to investing in dedicated development programs rather than relying entirely on economic growth to deliver better social outcomes. Evaluations of their actual impact have not always accompanied such decision making, but where they have, it has made a key difference.
With the urban population swelling the world over, it makes sense that we start—or go back to—designing cities for people too. People are a city’s principal raison d'etre.
Over just 3 years, Myanmar has introduced ambitious reforms which have put it on track to become a modern economy. But big challenges still lie ahead.
A set of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the last of which was released on November 2, 2014, sets the scene for governments to renew their efforts on the issue through ambitious commitments for a comprehensive climate agreement in Paris in December 2015.
The recent formal pledging session for the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—more than $9 billion in just 5 months—is by far the most successful resource mobilization ever seen for a multilateral climate fund. The US has pledged $3 billion, followed by Japan ($1.5 billion), UK ($1.13 billion), and Germany and France (with $1 billion each). Four developing countries—Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, and Panama—have made pledges, breaking the traditional donor boundaries.
Launched as a political bloc and security pact in the aftermath of the Viet Nam War, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has evolved to embrace an ambitious economic agenda. Its latest project is to establish the ASEAN Economic Community by 31 December 2015. But is this likely?
Latin America is now firmly on the economic radar of Asia in the post-global financial crisis world, with both regions having grown faster than the world economy.