In this episode, hosts Harsheen Sethi, Aayushi Idda Sharma, and Ankita from Policy & Insights at Economist Impact, reflect on the key themes and some missed opportunities of this year’s climate conference and take a closer look at major polluting economies from Asia and their role in these discussions.
Harsheen Sethi is a Senior Analyst with Economist Impact’s Policy and Insights team. She is a specialist on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), human rights, countering conflict and violence, foreign policy, and new globalisation. She works on cross-country policy research, strategy, and advocacy projects aimed at creating impact.
Notable projects include Out of the Shadows Index measuring child sexual violence regulations; Building disaster resilience: A study of disaster events and financial lending streams; NTI Nuclear Materials Security Index; and The Procurement Imperative.
Sethi holds a Master’s in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, where she served as a Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies Fellow, leading the working group on critical infrastructure vulnerabilities in cyberspace and contributing to research on countering violent extremism (CVE) in the US. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University Noida, India, where she specialised in development communication.
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Centring water at COP27 as a key enabler of change
Access to clean, safe water is a human right. Yet population growth, a changing climate and ageing infrastructure are placing significant stress on existing water supplies. In light of these looming challenges, world leaders must take action to ensure that all populations have access to the water and sanitation services they need—both today and for decades to come. Water management is among the most important aspects of climate adaptation.
At Economist Impact, we see a path forward. The world needs to reduce water consumption, yes, but we also need to do more with the water we have—reducing waste and deploying technological solutions to stretch the life of freshwater resources. We must create opportunities for interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder collective action towards the most pressing water challenges. All voices should be heard as we make the large-scale, systems-level changes necessary to ensure water access for all.
To work towards these goals, Economist Impact has developed the City Water Optimisation Index, a first-of-its-kind benchmarking tool that shifts the discourse on water from one of “doom and gloom’’ toward actionable, practical routes to sustainable, resilient water futures. The Index drives collaboration and coordination on how technological advancements and best practices can be leveraged to achieve sustainable urban water systems. It also serves as a tool for leaders and other water stakeholders to learn from their peers as they work to overcome water-related challenges.
If global leaders are to tackle the mounting climate crisis head-on, they must ensure water is part of the conversation at COP27—and beyond. At Economist Impact, we hope that the evidence-based and actionable measures of the City Water Optimisation Index can support these vital discussions, paving the way for a future where water is abundant, accessible and affordable.
Resetting the agenda: How ESG is shaping our future
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a wealth of interconnections – between ecological and human wellbeing, between economic and environmental fragility, between social inequality and health outcomes, and more. The consequences of these connections are now filtering through, reshaping our society and economy.
In this setting, the need to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when investing has become even more critical. Institutional investors must employ ESG not just to mitigate risks and identify opportunities, but to engage with companies to bring about the positive change needed to drive a sustainable economic recovery in the post-Covid world.
In order to understand how ESG could be both a new performance marker and a growth driver in this environment, as well as how institutional investors are using ESG to make investment decisions and to assess their own performance, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), sponsored by UBS, surveyed 450 institutional investors working in asset and wealth management firms, corporate pension funds, endowment funds, family offices, government agencies, hedge funds, insurance companies, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and reinsurers in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Download the report and infographic to learn more.
Charting the course for ocean sustainability in the Indian Ocean Rim
Charting the course for ocean sustainability in the Indian Ocean Rim is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi, which highlights key ocean challenges facing the Indian Ocean Rim countries and showcases initiatives undertaken by governments and the private sector in the region to address these challenges.
Click here to view the report.