(Jan 31): Investors in Asia have a surprisingly high level of interest in sustainable investing, says UK-based asset manager Schroders. Its head of sustainable research, Andy Howard, notes that this is because the speed at which economies are changing in Asia is faster than anywhere else in the world.

“What that means is that a lot of issues, trends and changes that took quite a long time to play out in other parts of the world are now happening very, very quickly in Asia. So, if you look at something like climate change, for example, a lot of Asian economies have gone from being relatively small contributors to a problem, to being a big source of the problem; but, they are also among the leaders — in terms of companies and some countries — that are trying to address it. This makes Asia a really dynamic and interesting place [for those issues],” he told The Edge in an interview on the sidelines of the recent Schroders International Media Conference 2019 in London.

For example, China has, in a relatively short time, gone from being the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world to also being the biggest investor in renewable energy, he adds. According to Schroders’ Global Investor Study 2019, Asian countries — particularly India, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore — ranked the highest for having investors who were most concerned or keen on sustainable investments.

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