Despite the global boom in renewable energy, many new coal-fired power plants are planned or under construction. Coal-fired electricity generation accounts for 30% of global CO2 emissions and the majority of that generation is currently found in Asia. Southeast Asia particularly faces the highest coal expansion risk in the region.
WWF’s Priority Places in 35 regions have all experienced temperature rises over the past 50 years. A 2°C global temperature rise could lead to widespread biodiversity loss, with almost 25% of species in Priority Places at risk of local extinction, while coral reefs would simply not survive a 2°C rise. Coal is the most carbon-intensive source of electricity and without a rapid phase-out to keep within a 1.5°C rise, we will lose all reefs, which are critically important resources for Asian communities.
Significantly reducing new coal power in Asia will increase the chances of achieving the 60%- 80% global coal power reduction by 2030, and a complete phase-out by 2050. By tackling coal, our aim is to address the growing risk of climate change and the profound impacts it would have on biological diversity and human livelihoods. Through the REpowering Asia initiative, WWF is working to prevent locking in carbon emissions and set an example for other developing and emerging economies facing coal expansion risks in Asia and Africa by:
- Stopping new coal power by reducing available finance in the power sector in supply countries to reduce demand for new coal in major ‘supply’ countries such as China and South Korea
- Reducing new coal in ‘demand’ countries like Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and other countries across Asia-Pacific by accelerating the transition to renewable energy
- Promoting renewable energy investments, international clean energy diplomacy and a transition toward a modern, clean and resilient energy system to improve access and wellbeing, provide green growth and clean air, as well as other sustainable development benefits
- Employing high-level national policy advocacy and engagement with key decision-makers through cross-country collaboration
- Using financial & economic analyses and evidence to demonstrate to decision-makers how financial risks can be minimized and socially cost-effective solutions of alternative energy portfolios can be financed and incentivised