How Asia can lead adaptation and mitigation efforts around climate change

Mekala Krishnan, senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute, shares her thoughts on how Asia can lead global adaptation and mitigation efforts around climate change.

How can Asia adapt and lead global mitigation efforts around climate change?

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If Asia is to rise to meet the challenge of climate risk, we believe the region needs to focus on three things. The first is integrating climate risk into all decision-making, whether that’s companies as they think about where to locate production, cities as they think about urban planning decisions, countries as they think about building new infrastructure. All of these decisions now need to be made with the climate of the future in mind.

Secondly is adapting to manage physical climate risk. And that ranges from everything from finding ways to protect assets and people, for example, by building heat shelters or hardening buildings, to building resilience and excess capacity in systems. For example, raising inventory levels in supply chains, to finding ways to reduce exposure, putting assets and people out of harm's way. And then finally, the role of finance and insurance in helping enable the transition and the smooth recovery post an event.

And then thirdly, the region needs to think about the role of mitigation because risk will continue to be built up until net-zero emissions are reached. While the risks for Asia are considerable, so also we believe are the opportunities. As the region builds out its new infrastructure, continues to develop its cities, invests in R&D and innovation, doing so with climate risk as part of the agenda can help protect the lives and livelihoods of millions.

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