CEBU, Philippines – The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) III meeting is in full swing, with business leaders from 21 APEC economies engaging in dialogue and discussion to refine recommendations for sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.
On Friday, July 29, the Sustainable Growth Working Group (SGWG) held their meeting, which focused on addressing climate change, ensuring energy security and sustainability, and fostering sustainable food systems. The priorities of the work program are ultimately aligned with the 2023 ABAC theme Equity. Sustainability. Opportunity. which highlights the evolving landscape of environment, social, and governance (ESG) investing.
As Vice Chair of the SGWG, Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and ABAC PH member Sabin M. Aboitiz gave presentations that tackled climate risk issues, including the democratization of climate risk information and decarbonization possibilities through nuclear technology. These will inform further discussions amongst the SGWG as they craft the policy recommendations that will formally be shared with APEC leaders later this year.
In his first presentation, Aboitiz shared the progress report on the Climate Risk Scenarios Project.
“We proposed the Climate Risk Scenarios Project in order to help economies build long-term climate resilience and fortify investment decisions by using a climate lens. We recognized that acquisition of important data related to climate risks remains limited and very expensive,” said Aboitiz.
“The objective of this project is to provide both the public and private sectors with a free platform that contains all the necessary data, methodologies, and policies needed to better understand and manage climate risks,” he continued.
By coming together to share and exchange information and knowledge, information gaps between economies can be addressed. With nine economies volunteering for the initial assessment, the final Climate Risk and Assessment Report will be presented at ABAC IV in November of this year.
This was followed by a presentation on the ABAC Experts Roundtable on Exploring Nuclear Energy and Emerging Technologies in APEC. The roundtable discussion, which was virtually held on June 30, is part of the ongoing developments of ABAC SGWG exploration of nuclear energy and small modular reactors (SMRs) as viable zero-carbon sources.
The discussions echo the sentiments of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as shared in his remarks during the Opening Ceremony of ABAC III on Friday, July 28.
“The government and business sector must come together to identify practical, pragmatic, and promising solutions to sustainably address pressing issues like energy insecurity, the triple threat of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss,” said President Marcos.
“Striking a balance between being prescriptive and affording, especially developing economies with policy space, we can pursue innovative technologies and approaches; for example, in the exploration of nuclear energy and small modular reactors as viable options for low- or zero-carbon energy sources. In the Philippines, we have identified the use of renewable energy as the top of our climate agenda and we need all the support of the business sector to see this through fruition,” the President added.
As the Aboitiz Group undergoes its Great Transformation to become the Philippines’ first techglomerate, it is embracing technology and a renewed entrepreneurial mindset to tackle the challenges faced by the communities it serves. Aboitiz’s regional involvement in advocating and achieving sustainable growth through ABAC is part of its wider dedication to using its expertise and experience to make a positive impact on the world.