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Net zero emissions by 2050 "lacks sense of urgency" — Suntory CEO

Like many other big corporations, Japanese brewer and distiller Suntory want to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But that's not enough for CEO Tak Niinami. "It's far away and lacks the sense of urgency," he says. Niinami predicts that especially after COP26 people will be wary of greenwashing, so it's essential for corporations to "to be transparent, showing society what we are doing and how much progress we are making" on climate.

Suntory CEO Tak Niinami spoke during the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here.

Making plastic industry sustainable is corporate self-interest

Plastics are essential for Asia, but for Ian Bremmer the way the industry works right now is incompatible with the region's targets to fight climate change. Very soon, though, he predicts there will be "immense gravitational pull" to do things differently. Once the way Asian companies use plastics now becomes outdated, he says, it's only a matter of time before they change out of their own self-interest. Bremmer spoke during the second of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory.

"We just don't have time to mess around" on plastics pollution

Plastic pollution has caused a lot of damage to the environment — including a staggering loss of biodiversity that will soon affect humans. For Climate Bonds Initiative CEO Sean Kidney, the critical way to reverse this trend is to switch all production to biodegradable right now. "It's got to be everything, and we've got to do it fast. We just don't have time to mess around. There's been a lot of talk, a lot of talk for 10 years, not enough action. Whew. Time to change."

Refuse single-use plastics — but not the rest: Aloke Lohia

Refusing single-use plastics is okay, but Aloke Lohia, CEO of Indorama Ventures, believes all other plastics should be given "a fair chance" at recycling. Lohia says that some plastics are already 100 percent reusable, while chemical recycling is "just around the corner." Lohia spoke during the second of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory.

Asia will lose land as the planet warms, says IPCC's Ko Barrett

Last August, a landmark IPCC report underscored the urgency of the climate crisis — with big implications for Asia, the region most at risk. Ko Barret, vice president at the IPCC, says Asia should especially watch out for a combination of sea level rise above the global average and a lot more rain than usual that'll together result in shorelines receding along the Mekong delta.

Barrett spoke during the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here.

COP falling apart doesn't mean we're failing to respond to climate: Ian Bremmer

For Ian Bremmer, on the one hand accepting climate science in the age of fake news and disinformation is a huge victory. But on the other hand, in a few days COP26 — the biggest global summit on the most important global issue we all face right now — will probably just kick the can down the road because global leadership has checked out. Still, Bremmer says this is an opportunity for the COP process to be driven in the future by other people different from the current old males that run the show.

Ian Bremmer spoke during the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here.

Focus on applying existing tech to recycle plastics — Suntory CEO Tak Niinami

Single-use plastics have become a big pollution problem in Asia — which technology can help solve. Suntory CEO Tak Niinami hopes that not only new but also existing tech that hasn't been applied yet can really be a game-changer on plastics recycling in Asia, where there's no one-size-fits-all solution for all countries. Niinami spoke during the second of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory.

To save the oceans, refuse & raise awareness about single-use plastics, says Hannah Testa

We always hear about the "three Rs" — reduce, reuse, and recycle — of sustainable waste management. But when it comes to single-use plastics, climate activist Hannah Testa likes to add two more: refuse and raise awareness. What's more, she says it's crucial to connect the problem with climate by showing the damage that single-use plastic waste is doing to the oceans, the world's biggest carbon sink and whose health is a good temperature check on the entire planet.

Testa spoke during the second of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory.

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