Throughout the 20th century, most of the world’s chemical production happened in Europe and North America. In the past two decades, this has rapidly shifted. By some estimates, Asia will account for most of all chemical production as soon as 2025.

Plastic pollution, rightly, has grabbed public attention and generated much-needed action across the region. But chemical waste – from industry, agriculture and sewers – is a growing and potentially catastrophic threat.  

What do Asia-Pacific’s governments need to do to close the data gap? What role do industries along the chemical supply chain play? And how can policymakers begin to address the link between ocean pollution and human health?

This panel, moderated by Charlie Goddard, editorial director, Economist Impact, took place at the World Ocean Summit Asia Pacific on November 29th, 2022. Panelists included:

  • Dechen Tsering, Regional director, UNEP
  • Kenneth Leung, Director and chair professor, state key laboratory of marine pollution, City University of Hong Kong
  • Naoko Ishii, Director, Centre for the Global Commons, University of Tokyo
  • Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Director, Marine Policy Center and senior advisor to the president on ocean and climate policy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Sign up to the Back to Blue newsletter to receive latest news and research from the programme.