The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia





Apr 04, 2018
by Salzburg Global Semianr
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The Asia We Want - A Clean and Green Asia

Report from the first in new series on regional cooperation in Asia offers innovative solutions to achieve “a clean and green Asia”

In November 2017, as the world met in Bonn, Germany to agree upon the finer details of the Paris Agreement, 25 young Asian leaders gathered in Salzburg, Austria to develop a shared vision of a “Clean and Green Asia,” strengthen commitment to sustainable and equitable development that is inspired and informed by inter-regional cooperation, and to advance innovative approaches to environmental sustainability and inclusive low-carbon development in their communities. 

The inaugural session of the new, multi-year program The Asia We Want: Building Community through Regional Cooperation, supported through a generous grant by the Japan Foundation and with support from the Korea and Nippon Foundations, was the first step to form a network of dynamic young leaders from across the region and to build their capacity to work together to address such environmental, climate and energy concerns.

Over three intensive days, the 25 leaders heard from veterans in the region and devised their own innovative projects to achieve “a clean and green Asia”: promoting regional, integrated approaches to address air quality; catalyzing small, sustainable and scalable (3S) financing; encouraging community-led waste management schemes; and designing a framework for multiple sectors to achieve goals in contributing to a low-carbon or decarbonized society.

“Rising leaders in Asia are aware of their responsibility to steer transition to sustainable and climate resilient economies and are strongly committed to Asian community development inspired by cooperation at local and global levels,” said Tatsiana Lintouskaya, Program Director, Salzburg Global Seminar.

“Our new multi-year program, The Asia We Want: Building Sustainable Communities Through Regional Cooperation, is there to support and empower young leaders working to advance inclusive low-carbon development in their communities. We aim to expand this program in the coming years and build a dynamic cross-border network for practical collaboration and lasting results in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The report, written by Lintouskaya and Salzburg Global Fellow Roli Mahajan, was dedicated in memory of multi-time Fellow and friend of Salzburg Global Seminar, Surin Pitsuwan. The former secretary general of ASEAN died three weeks after helping to facilitate the November 2017 session. 

The report also compiles the Fellows and facilitators’ insightful and often provocative op-eds written ahead of the session. A full list of their op-eds is available below.

Download the report as a PDF

Marifrance Avila – “For us to achieve the Asia that we want, we need to start with achieving the country that we want”

Wilson John Barbon – “Disasters are not natural phenomena. They are the result of human and social conditions”

Xixi Chen – We need integrated, collaborative and bottom-up leadership to build a cleaner and greener Asia

Sandeep Choudhury – “Asia we want should be one based on equitable growth and not the disparity we see today between the rich and the poor”

Chochoe Devaporihartakula – A clean and green Asia needs compliance and transparency

Salinee Hurley – Replacing kerosene with solar power: an incomparable way to mitigate climate change

Abner Lawangen – “Asia can truly be a resilient towering continent if all countries pull together”

Tari Lestari – “A clean energy transition is the only way to create a better future for Asia”

Roli Mahajan – The case for mandatory environmental service

Niall O’Connor – We need to take a “business as unusual” approach

Minh Nguyet Pham – “Air pollution is a spider web”

Magdalena Seol – Business and Investment Can Drive a More Sustainable Asia

Trinnawat Suwanprik – “We must know the past, understand the present, and plan for the future”

Qingchan Yu – “A credible alternative to fossil fuels is critical”