Regional Finding

Eastern Asia

15 of 50 keystone electric utility companies are headquartered in China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan; Japan; and the Republic of Korea

A region with far to go.

  • Based on the trends assessed, the performance of 80% of these 15 companies is expected to decline in the near term.
  • More than half have the lowest rating – E – in the holistic assessment.
  • The median rating for this region is 5.3E-; for the overall ranking it is 7.1D-.

The 15 companies headquartered in Eastern Asia have a mean average owned installed generation capacity of approximately 84 GW – far higher than the average for companies in Northern America or Europe (of approximately 52 GW). They also have a far higher average emissions intensity: 553 gCO2e/kWh (versus all 50 average of 446 gCO2e/kWh). As some of the biggest by capacity, their reductions can have the greatest impact on emissions overall. Read more in our first key finding.

Can company targets and actions that are insufficient to achieve Paris be symptoms of an unambitious policy environment?

  • Many Japanese electric utilities align to the NDC of their country of headquarters, and all have the same emissions intensity target (370.5 gCO2e/kWh), which they set collectively as part of the Electric Power Council for a Low Carbon Society – but is this enough to keep global warming well below 2 degrees?
  • Can China build on experiences gained in its pilot emissions trading scheme from 2017 to 2020 to further increase ambition and ensure electric utilities’ generation emissions enable the Paris goals?

An example of leadership in the region is CLP Holdings. It shows leadership on policy through its participation in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Energy Transitions Commission, and CLP’s CEO chairs Hong Kong’s Business Environment Council. It is the highest performing company of all 50 assessed for policy engagement. CLP has also crucially committed to not building any further coal-fired electricity generation, a commitment not made by any of the other East Asian electric utilities assessed.

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