A report from the U.N. Development Program, "Asia-Pacific Human Development Report 2012 -- One Planet to Share: Sustaining Human Progress in a Changing Climate," states the region needs to find the right balance between prosperity and environmental sustainability.
"The world's common future will be hugely affected by the choices that are made in Asia and the Pacific on a low carbon growth path," Ajay Chhibber, UNDP regional director for Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement. "The goal is clear: reduce poverty, increase prosperity but leave a smaller carbon footprint."
The 269-page report says Asian and Pacific economies need to change the way they practice agriculture, manufacture goods and produce energy.
This will mean "moving to greener, more resilient, lower-emission options that not only sustain the environment but also offer opportunities to the poor for employment and income," the report states.
The UNDP estimates economies in the region generate 37 percent of global emissions through agricultural production, land-use changes and deforestation.