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Could the Asean taxonomy help standardise south-east Asia’s ESG efforts?

A coal mine in North Kalimantan. Unlike its peers, Indonesia’s taxonomy has classified financing for coal-fired power plants as ‘green’ under certain circumstances (Photo: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)
A coal mine in North Kalimantan. Unlike its peers, Indonesia’s taxonomy has classified financing for coal-fired power plants as ‘green’ under certain circumstances (Photo: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)

South-east Asia’s diverse economies are striving for a common language to drive the region’s green credentials, but country-specific characteristics make this a complex task

South-east Asia is looking to boost its environmental, social and governance credentials through a recent boom in green taxonomies. Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia have all developed individual frameworks, with the taxonomy developed in November 2021 by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a political and economic union of regional states, serving as a common language.

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