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Editor's Choice

As our top stories this week show, the speed of change in Southeast Asia can be glacial.

Companies in Southeast Asia seem to barely understand what human rights are, let alone consider them a serious business issue, a new report has found.

It has taken Singapore more than two years to ban ivory, despite 99 per cent of Singaporeans saying it should not be sold here.

It is taking companies too long to clean up their palm oil supply chains in Indonesia and Malaysia, and none stand a chance of keeping 2020 zero-deforestation promises.

But this week has also shown that change can come quickly, even in Southeast Asia, if the conditions are right.

No sector has been as slow to embrace sustainability as banking. And yet it took Singapore's super-competitive banks just 11 days to all announce they'd quit coal.

As much trouble as capitalism and the endless pursuit of profit has landed the world in, we're going to need some serious reallocation of capital to meet the Paris climate goals.

Let's hope the rest of Southeast Asia's big banks wake up and smell the climate opportunity. As an opinion piece by Dan Wells argues, there is no better time to be working in sustainable investing.

Robin Hicks

Editor's Choice

UOB is Singapore's third bank to quit coal power lending in a month

UOB is Singapore's third bank to quit coal power lending in a month

Southeast Asia's third largest bank has announced it will stop funding coal-fired power plants to focus on funding renewable projects in the region. It is the third of Singapore's big three banks to quit coal in a matter of weeks.

Why are companies in Southeast Asia lagging on human rights?

Why are companies in Southeast Asia lagging on human rights?

Although Southeast Asia remains beset by human trafficking, land grabs and labour rights violations, the region's top listed companies are failing to disclose human rights issues in their sustainability reports.

How committed are companies to sustainable palm oil?

How committed are companies to sustainable palm oil?

A new report by World Wildlife Fund and Zoological Society London reveals that one in five companies are evading their reporting commitments to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, while others are still far away from their targets.

Why sustainable investing is the best job ever

Why sustainable investing is the best job ever

A career in finance is rarely what we dream of when we are children. But forget being a rock legend, a football pro or a contestant on Love Island. Here’s why working in sustainable investing is the best job. Ever.

Why is Singapore so slow to ban ivory?

Why is Singapore so slow to ban ivory?

Although public support for a ban on elephant ivory in Singapore is almost universal, the government has yet to introduce a moratorium on the sale of a species expected to be extinct in the wild within a decade.

Grain on the blockchain: how digital supply chains are greening agriculture

Grain on the blockchain: how digital supply chains are greening agriculture

Many remain sceptical about real-world applications, but a blockchain-based approach to agricultural supply chain management could improve environmental outcomes and parity for vulnerable stakeholders.

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