top of page

Sustainable Asia X Heinrich Böll Stiftung: Clearing the Air: Asia’s fight against air pollution

From New Delhi to Bangkok to Seoul, Asia is facing the world’s most serious air pollution catastrophe.  Experts say this poor air quality becomes fatal with the onset of heat waves and drought from climate change, but citizens are coming up with their own solutions to tackle the dirty air.

Air pollution

Voice of America: China, US Can Cooperate on Climate Issues Despite Tensions, Experts Say

Amid a recent flurry of meetings that brought together officials from the United States and China, along with other world leaders, experts say the two countries can work together on climate change despite lingering tensions.

COP27: Climate politics

Voice of America: Experts See Environmental Risk from China’s Small Island BRI Efforts 

Investments under China’s Belt and Road Initiative can pose environmental risks to small island nations already vulnerable to harm from climate change, an expert told VOA in late November.

COP27: Climate adaptation

Voice of America: China’s Lockdown-led Carbon Emissions Drop Short-lived, Experts Say 

The projected drop in carbon emissions in China because of its slowed economic growth due to pandemic lockdowns – shown in a report released at the recent COP27 – is likely short-lived, experts have told VOA.

COP27: Decarbonization

Fair Planet: China's bumpy road to net zero

Experts said at COP27 that it will be "very challenging" for China to achieve its green ambitions, despite a lauded power decarbonisation effort. What’s standing in its way?

COP27: Decarbonization

Voice of America: China Could Cut Methane Emissions Through Monitoring, Diet Changes, Experts Say

Data monitoring and human dietary changes are among ways China could slash its methane emissions, experts have told VOA.

COP27: Methane

Fair Planet: Can China decarbonize its dirty steel industry?

At COP27, various stakeholders deliberated on ways to accelerate the decarbonisation of the carbon-heavy steel industry. As the world’s largest steelmaker, will China be able to lead a net-zero transition of the industry?

COP27: Decarbonization

Voice of America: China Says It Won't Pay Into Climate Fund for Developing Countries

China Wednesday said it would not pay into a climate loss and damage fund for developing nations, after small island nations cited its responsibility as a high carbon emitter at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Egypt, COP27.

COP27: Climate politics

Voice of America: Hong Kong's 'Shoebox' Residents Struggle Amid Sweltering Heat, Cramped Living Conditions

Just a harbor away from a cluster of skyscrapers, in the poorest district in Hong Kong, Szeto, a resident who declined to give his full name due to security concerns, struggles to endure the heat inside his shoebox apartment. The heat wins.

Climate justice

Fair Planet: Understanding climate colonialism

Nations throughout the Global South have fought for climate reparations for years, arguing that they are bearing the brunt of carbon emissions emitted by their wealthier counterparts in the Global North.

Climate justice

BBC: Why some Asian schools are going wild

Scandinavian-style forest schools are booming in Europe and the US – and spreading in Asia, too. Could outdoor classrooms be the future?

Forest teacher gathering students.HEIC

DW: Making traditional Chinese medicine from lab-grown meat

Could synthetic tiger claw and bear bile counteract the illegal market for animal products and help protect endangered species?

Green innovation

BBC: The search to make a perfect condom

From condoms that self-lubricate to ones with in-built medication that protects against STDs, the contraception of the future is already in development.

Tech innovation
condom pic.webp

DW: Green construction: Creating emissions-free building sites

Building sites produce emissions and air pollution. Cities, developers and construction machinery manufacturers are looking for ways to clean them up.

Green innovation

Heinrich Böll Stiftung: 
Plastic Atlas three-part series

Why is the pandemic fuelling Asia's plastic crisis? 

Is recycling really the answer to the plastic deluge? 

Inside one of Asia's most successful zero-waste communities

Plastic crisis

BBC: Could plastic roads make for a smoother ride?

From lower carbon emissions to fewer potholes, there are a number of benefits to building a layer of plastic into roads..

Energy innovation

VICE: Hong Kong’s COVID Rules Are Screwing Over The Poor At Every Turn

With winter chill in the air and the threat of a resurgent pandemic keeping everyone home, Henry Cheung sank into an abandoned couch in the middle of a street in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong, and settled in for the night.

Homeless issue

BBC: The buildings heated by human warmth

From a stuffy metro station in Paris, to a large shopping mall in the United States, human body heat is helping to lessen the need to burn fossil fuels for warmth.

Energy innovation
Beaubourg building_credit Paris Habitat.

Financial Times: Young Taiwanese investors drive rapid growth of ETF market

Exchange traded funds in Taiwan have seen a dramatic surge in popularity over the past year, with one in four Taiwanese investors in their 20s now holding the investment products, data from the Taiwan Depository and Clearing Corporation show.

Asset Management

Euronews: How dancing and walking can light up a city

Two young men are at a nightclub in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Surrounded by fluorescent lights and party goers, they are deep in conversation on the middle of the dance floor. But the pair aren’t there to have fun - they’re watching the dancers intently, musing on how they can harness this manpower to create energy.

Energy innovation

Deutsche Welle: Dirty diapers power light bulbs in Japan

There is a growing market for diapers for old people, but soiled nappies create a lot of environmental waste. Now, companies in Japan are inventing new ways of cleaning up the mess and producing energy.

Energy innovation

HKFP: The art of herping in Hong Kong

Hunting for a snake in the grass can be a rewarding experience, especially during Covid-19 curbs on conventional nightlife. Award-winning photographer Lawrence Hylton speaks to Chermaine Lee about the art of herping and showcases photos from his trips.

(Words: Chermaine Lee
Photos and captions: Lawrence Hylton)

Wildlife education

BBC: The 'romance scammers' cashing in on lockdown loneliness

Lockdown isolation has been a boon for the con artists and catfishers targeting lonely Hong Kong women.

Gender issue

BBC: How Hong Kong is modernising love hotels

With the majority of young people living with their parents, Hong Kong’s couples are turning to alternative means of having a private life.

Space issue

SCMP: What it’s like to be black and African in Hong Kong: ‘there is racism literally in every corner’

Despite being born and raised in the city – and speaking Cantonese – many black residents experience racism as part of their everyday life

Racial issue

BBC: Hong Kong’s public space problem

When Hong Kong tried to tackle its third wave of Covid-19 by banning diners from inside restaurants, authorities quickly encountered a problem. Some people had nowhere else to go.

Public space

BBC: The chicken drumsticks made from cauliflower

As we age our nutritional needs change, but our taste buds and appetites also deaden, limiting what many older people eat. Is it possible to make food better for the elderly?

Ageing population

BBC: The married couples in Hong Kong who live apart

Could you live an hour from your spouse? The disproportionately expensive housing market in Hong Kong is forcing families to live separately – with few remedies in sight.

Housing issue

Sustainable Asia: Protecting the Southern Ocean for China’s next generation

China’s interest in Antarctica’s rich fishing grounds has grown significantly over the past 20 years. A member of the international body governing use of these resources since 2007, the country is also involved in managing the Southern Ocean’s two existing marine protected areas (MPAs). 

Ocean conservation

Ariana: A Deafening silence

Men around the world are opening up about their experiences of sexual harassment and violence.

In Hong Kong, however, cultural taboos and obsolete laws stifle their voices.

Gender issue
Screenshot 2019-10-08 at 9.08.59 PM.png

SCMP: Homeless in Hong Kong: why men account for nearly nine in 10 street sleepers

Living on leftovers, 69-year-old Wong has been sleeping on the streets of Hong Kong for more than a year.

Gender issue
ext (1).jpeg

BuzzFeed: This Woman Is Running To Save The Love Of Her Life (reporting byline)

Zheng Churan’s husband disappeared four years after she was arrested for protesting sexual harassment on public transportation.

Women's rights

Thomson Reuters: Hong Kong lawmakers, following China, vote to ban ivory sales (reporting byline)

Lawmakers in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong voted on Wednesday to ban ivory sales in the world’s largest ivory retail market, a move wildlife activists hailed as vital towards halting the slaughter of elephants.

Animals' rights
Screenshot 2019-10-08 at 9.04.59 PM.png

Thomson Reuters: HK court fines ivory trader $1,000 for illegal trading as China cracks down (reporting byline)

A Hong Kong court found an ivory trader guilty of illegal ivory possession and imposed a relatively light penalty of an HK$8,000 (753 pounds) fine on Tuesday, less than two weeks after China implemented a total ban on ivory sales.

Animals' rights

SCMP: Climate change is bad for your mental health – and the situation will only get worse

From eczema sufferers to dementia patients, rising temperatures and more common extreme weather events lead to more hospital admissions for mental disorders

Mental illness

Thomson Reuters: Homeless in Hong Kong: soaring costs fuel housing crisis in Asian financial hub (reporting byline)

Cheung Muk-gun’s home is an illegal, wooden shack under a highway in one of the poorest areas of Hong Kong, where sky-high property prices and a yawning wealth gap have helped fuel a surge in homelessness.

Housing issue
Screenshot 2019-10-08 at 8.56.56 PM.png

Ariana: Work in Progress

We ask lawmakers, lawyers, students and social organisations to share their thoughts on sexual harassment in Hong Kong and Macao.

Gender issue
Screenshot 2019-10-08 at 9.15.04 PM.png

Ariana: Mind over Matter

Local charity Mind Hong Kong has developed a series of programmes and online resources to destigmatise mental health in Hong Kong.

Mental illness
Screenshot 2019-10-08 at 9.19.23 PM.png
bottom of page