Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Reports
Schumacher Kim Last modified date:2024.06.03

Associate Professor / Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies / Department of Research Promotion / Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies

1. Maria A. Martin et al. Kim Schumacher, Ten new insights in climate science 2022, Global Sustainability, doi:10.1017/sus.2022.17, 2022.11, [URL], Non-technical summary:
We summarize what we assess as the past year's most important findings within climate change research: limits to adaptation, vulnerability hotspots, new threats coming from the climate–health nexus, climate (im)mobility and security, sustainable practices for land use and finance, losses and damages, inclusive societal climate decisions and ways to overcome structural barriers to accelerate mitigation and limit global warming to below 2°C.

Technical summary:
We synthesize 10 topics within climate research where there have been significant advances or emerging scientific consensus since January 2021. The selection of these insights was based on input from an international open call with broad disciplinary scope. Findings concern: (1) new aspects of soft and hard limits to adaptation; (2) the emergence of regional vulnerability hotspots from climate impacts and human vulnerability; (3) new threats on the climate–health horizon – some involving plants and animals; (4) climate (im)mobility and the need for anticipatory action; (5) security and climate; (6) sustainable land management as a prerequisite to land-based solutions; (7) sustainable finance practices in the private sector and the need for political guidance; (8) the urgent planetary imperative for addressing losses and damages; (9) inclusive societal choices for climate-resilient development and (10) how to overcome barriers to accelerate mitigation and limit global warming to below 2°C.

Social media summary:
Science has evidence on barriers to mitigation and how to overcome them to avoid limits to adaptation across multiple fields..
2. Kim Schumacher, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Factors and Green Productivity: The Impacts of Greenwashing and Competence Greenwashing on Sustainable Finance and ESG Investing, SSRN Environmental Policy & Governance eJournal,, 2023.01, [URL], The rise of sustainable finance, ESG investment, and sustainability reporting, has gradually led to a growing disconnect among many financial-sector and corporate stakeholders, which can be observed between their positive sustainability performance claims and the organizational resources and capacities dedicated to assuring proper ESG integration and sustainability impact MRV.

These discrepancies can easily result in greenwashing or carbonwashing, which are the practices of marketing products or services as “green”, “sustainable”, "carbon neutral", "net zero" or "nature positive" when in fact they do not meet basic environmental, climate, or sustainability standards of verifiability or credibility. Competence greenwashing is the professional ESG skills-related equivalent that relates to overstated claims of environmental competence or non-financial sustainability-related expertise in absence of material or credible educational or professional track records.

However, greenwashing and its subvariants like “carbonwashing” or “competence greenwashing” do not occur in a contextual vacuum but are strongly linked to the increasing appeal of sustainable finance, ESG investing, and the strong green growth they are supporting. Therefore, this paper will first illustrate recent green growth trends in the areas of sustainable finance and ESG investing before exploring how greenwashing and subject matter expertise-related competence greenwashing have been increasing alongside those trends. .
3. Kim Schumacher Yong Jun Baek Soh Young In Shigeo Nishikizawa, Sustainability reporting in Asia: Are the EU’s initiatives the benchmark for ESG disclosure in the region?, SSRN Corporate Finance: Governance, Corporate Control & Organization eJournal,, 2022.10, [URL], Corporate sustainability reporting is now a strategically important space that impacts corporate valuations, supply chains, and business models. However, a lack of convergence of regulatory frameworks in Europe and Asia is hampering transparency, reporting quality, comparability, and investment and trade objectives. In our latest sustainability report, we aim to provide a better understanding of the EU’s sustainability reporting landscape and how it compares to four key Asian jurisdictions: Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Singapore.

By comparing ESG reporting frameworks in both the EU and a selection of representative countries in Asia, we hope to provide regulators, business leaders, investors, and other interested stakeholders with a broader understanding of the obstacles and opportunities of the various sustainability reporting approaches..