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ClientEarth Communications

11th July 2024

ESG Investing and the Business and Human Rights Agenda

Elizabeth Wu, Legal Consultant with Energy Systems, Asia, was a featured speaker on UNDP’s webcast episode “ESG Investing and the Business and Human Rights Agenda”. Elizabeth was joined in this episode by five other Asian leaders in sustainability: Eugene Wong, CEO, Sustainable Finance Institute Asia, Niloy Banerjee, Resident Representative, UNDP Malaysia,  Navina Balasingam, General Manager, Capital Markets Malaysia, Ghislaine Nadaud, Senior Sustainability Investing Specialist, Robeco, and Luanne Sieh, Chief Sustainability Officer, CIMB Group. The episode, filmed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was moderated by Sean Lees, UNDP Business and Human Rights Specialist.

The webcast episode discussed the state of play of ESG in Asia. It explored how financial institutions leverage their unique role to enhance better performance on human rights, the environment and sustainable development in Asia, as well as the bottlenecks and challenges faced and what can be done to address this.

Elizabeth provided insights on:

  • the phenomenon of greenwashing and greenhushing;
  • the role of civil and criminal penalties to address this;
  • recent trends in related litigation and regulatory action in Asia;
  • the landscape of shareholder climate resolutions in Asia, highlighting trends on this in Japan; and
  • the need for climate-aligned laws, including climate framework laws, renewable energy-facilitating investment and trade regulation and science-based national energy transition plans.

UNDP’s webcast also launched its Asia-wide report on the capacity of ESG investment to support environmentally and socially responsible business practices in Asia. You can read a copy of the report here.

“Clear regulatory roadmaps create stability and certainty to facilitate the flow of private investment that supports the net zero transition. This includes framework climate legislation, a robust national energy plan based on science-based targets, sector-specific guidance on the transition and climate-aligned investment and trade law levers that support investment in renewable energy.”

Elizabeth Wu, ClientEarth Legal Consultant with Energy Systems, Asia