Millions of children expected to join global climate strike
- Protesters demand “an end to the age of fossil fuels and climate justice for everyone”
- Event was sparked by campaigner Greta Thunberg, who’ll attend New York protest
- Our live coverage will last all day, marking protests from Pacific islands to LA
- Up to 1.1m children allowed to miss school to join march in New York
While there might be fewer protests happening from Asia, the continent is by no means lagging behind when it comes to to CO2 emissions.
China was ranked first and India and Japan third and fifth among the globe’s worst polluters, that’s according to the Global Carbon Project
and their latest data from 2017.
The ranking only reflects the absolute figures though. If broken down to emissions per person living in the country, then Japan is number 30 in the world, China is 41st and India comes in at number 71.
‘Environmental activists are sometimes killed’
Jonathan Head, BBC South East Asia Correspondent
Climate change is expected to have a profound impact on much of South East Asia. Cities like Jakarta and Bangkok will be flooded, and perhaps uninhabitable. Extreme climate could badly affect food security. Other areas, like the Mekong Delta, are already suffering from the advancing sea.
But environmental awareness remains a largely middle-class concern, and the middle class is relatively small. It was noticeable how many in the small climate strike march in central Bangkok were foreign residents, not Thais. Some issues are getting wider public interest; publicity over the damage to marine life caused by waste plastic has now prompted action by government and retailers to curb single-use plastics.
But most South East Asian countries today have poor law enforcement and powerful business interests. Holding those businesses to account is difficult and sometimes dangerous. Environmental activists are sometimes killed, the perpetrators rarely brought to justice.
For 30 years this region has pursued export-led economic growth as its top priority, and the main source of legitimacy for its governments. That growth has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, but has also led to greater economic inequality and massive environmental degradation. It is proving hard to change that model.