The United Nations is constantly putting pressure on countries to stop relying on coal, and Secretary-General Guterres has clearly stated the United Nations’ position in a recent declaration.
Guterres called for the world to seize the opportunity to end the climate crisis by taxing carbon emissions, stopping the provision of trillions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies, and stopping the construction of coal-fired power stations by 2020.
Many countries, especially developed economies, are paying attention to the message from the United Nations. However, in Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing regions in the world, fossil fuels are still the way to meet their energy needs.
Data collected by the Sustainable Energy Organization for All, supported by the United Nations, show that the number of coal-fired power plants to be built in Southeast Asia ranks third globally, behind China and India. Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are the countries with the highest number of coal-fired power plants to be built among all Southeast Asian countries, followed by Malaysia and Thailand.
Relatively wealthy Asian countries are also funding the coal sector across borders. State-owned financial institutions in China, Japan, and South Korea are currently the largest sources of funding for coal plants in other countries. A study by the Organization for Sustainable Energy for All shows that China is the largest source of international coal financing, committing more than $ 1.7 billion in funding from 2015 to 2016.