Asia’s population of 4.68 billion people – 60% of the world’s total – will play a vital role in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions towards a net-zero economy by 2050, according to a new report from impact investor, ThomasLloyd.

The report, Carbon cost of GDP: how investment in Asia can deliver the energy transition, shows the continent produces more than half the world’s 37.12 billion tons of CO2 emissions. Eight Asian countries account for 45% of total global CO2 emissions.

The study measures the amount of CO2 emitted for every trillion dollars of GDP generated. Rather than focusing merely on absolute emissions, it makes clear where impact investments must be allocated in the most efficient manner to tackle climate change.

The study says the global average carbon cost of GDP per country is 382 million tons (Mt), with Asian emerging economies – namely Emerging Asia and Bangladesh – registering more than 500 Mt each, which contrasts with Europe’s Big Four (Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy), with 132 Mt.

Western economies have had success in reducing their absolute level of CO2 emissions, and the carbon intensity of their GDP. The reverse is the case in Asia, where countries like Vietnam, with 890 Mt, or India, with 853 Mt of CO2 emissions per trillion dollars generated. These are the world’s most carbon-intensive producers, followed closely by Malaysia, China, Thailand and Indonesia with at least four times more carbon emissions than Europe’s four biggest economies.


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Published: April 27, 2023
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