Local and Global Aspects of Coal in the ASEAN Countries

Book title: Handbook of Sustainable Politics and Economics of Natural Resources

Academic chapter
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Economic growth  Regional integration  Development policy  Asia  Climate  Energy  Governance  International organizations
Written by

Indra Overland

Research Professor, Head of Research group on climate and energy


Aidai Isataeva

Former employee

Haakon Fossum Sagbakken

Former employee


By 2020, coal mining and power generation had been growing in Southeast Asia for decades and were projected to rise to new heights of prominence in regional energy systems, weakening the energy security of all states in the region except Indonesia, jeopardizing the NDCs of the ASEAN states under the Paris Agreement and deepening existing domestic political fault lines. Coal utilization has well-known public health, agricultural, water security and economic consequences, many of which are magnified in Southeast Asia, with its high population density and limited wind and arable land. Paradoxically, the short-sighted focus on affordability imposes significant longer-term economic risks on these states as renewable energy prices fall, while ASEAN markets for such energy sources remain underutilized.