The 79th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (the “ESCAP”) was held from 15 to 19 May 2023. This session witnessed the adoption of 10 United Nations (“UN”) resolutions by countries within Asia-Pacific (the “APAC”), with the aim of reaffirming their unwavering commitment to safeguarding the planet and its people. ESCAP, as a regional commission of the UN, plays a pivotal role in fostering economic and social progress in the APAC region. The adoption of these resolutions underscores the collective dedication of APAC countries to tackle environmental challenges, protect natural resources, and improve the well-being of their populations.

The ESCAP report presents a comprehensive plan aimed at limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C and achieving net-zero emissions by the middle of the century. It focuses on three critical sectors and how to bring about the necessary transformation in each of them:

  1. Reducing the energy sector’s reliance on coal and phasing out other fossil fuels.
  2. Supporting the development of low-carbon transportation and logistics.
  3. Accelerating the low-carbon transition of industries and exploring how international trade and investment can facilitate this process.

The resolutions adopted at ESCAP may influence regulatory approaches to ESG-related rules and disclosures, impacting investment products, stewardship practices, and corporate governance in the APAC region. Understanding the region’s focus on sustainability and ambitious climate targets can provide valuable insights into potential legal risks and opportunities. We can assist you in aligning your company’s practices with responsible and environmentally-conscious approaches, ensuring compliance with emerging regulations and positioning your business for long-term success.

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