In 2021, countries from South and Southeast Asia are reconsidering their commitment to coal as the pressure for climate action is increasing and the cost of low-carbon technology is declining.
In 2020, the region’s four largest economies – Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam – cancelled close to 45 gigawatts (GW) of coal power.
In Bangladesh, the project to cap coal power capacity at 5 GW instead of 23 awaits the prime minister’s approval. According to Vietnam’s Power Development Plan, seven coal plants could be canceled, and another six postponed until the 2030s. As for the Philippines, the Department of Energy is proposing a moratorium on new coal plants.
Banks and companies also face growing pressure from the public to invest in renewable resources to better answer the climate crisis. According to Greenpeace Japan, Southeast Asia’s renewable energy market could be valued at $205 billion over the next 10 years. The commitment to stay away from coal projects must also apply to overseas ones. Singapore’s three major banks had announced in 2019 already that they no longer finance coal power.