New Book Gauges ESG Investment Prospects for Enhancing Asian Resilience

ADBI News Release | 8 June 2020

Tokyo, JapanA newly published book from ADBI Press sheds light on the benefits and challenges of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment. It offers critical guidance for boosting this emerging financing source and its potential to enhance economic sustainability and resilience in Asia in the face of climate and COVID-19 shocks.

Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment: Opportunities and Risks for Asia examines increasing interest in ESG investment that promotes sustainability, shared socio-economic value, and financial inclusion. It also explores how investors integrate ESG factors into their investment decisions and related policy needs.

“ESG investments have considerable potential to incentivize the private sector to address environmental and social issues such as renewable energy development, employee training, and gender equality,” said Naoko Nemoto, ADBI Financial Economist and book co-editor.

“The sustainability benefits of ESG investment could play an important role in mitigating climate change and COVID-19 shocks while boosting businesses and economic growth,” added Nemoto. “Maximizing these advantages will depend on greater progress to implement complementary policies and standards.”

The book assesses impediments to ESG investment growth such as unclear criteria for sustainable investment, low quality non-financial data, lack of disclosure, and resource misallocations, as well as possible ways forward.

“ESG investment obstacles are even more of a challenge for developing countries in Asia and the Pacific despite their strong need for this type of financing instrument,” said Peter Morgan, ADBI Vice Chair of Research and book co-editor. “An optimized policy environment could help to facilitate ESG investment flows in the region.”

The book provides policy makers and stakeholders valuable lessons and insights for developing ESG investment-friendly conditions needed to foster more sustainable economies in uncertain times.

Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment: Opportunities and Risks for Asia can be downloaded for free.

Watch the book summary video.