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Future of Asian coal dims as pandemic progresses

January 06, 2021


As 2020 meant a slowdown in the production and use of coal, experts and governments were confident the industry would pick up with the easing of restrictions on the pandemic. However, as of 2021, it looks like coal is not ready to return. Before 2020, South and Southeast Asia appeared to become the world’s largest coal demand region, with several countries investing heavily in coal mining and power plants. But as the implications of Covid-19 have wreaked havoc on industry around the world, the promising future of coal in Asia looks increasingly uncertain. 

For example, in December, Malaysian bank CIMB announced its exit strategy to phase out funding for coal, after investing $ 2.6 billion in coal over the past decade. It was the first major bank in an emerging economy to present such plans.

The CIMB aims to support the goals of the Paris Agreement by phasing out funding for coal by 2040. Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) explained: “This admirable decision should be the catalyst for a whole range of CIMB peers. through [South-East Asia] to better align their lending practices with the technology-related disruption of the energy system that is accelerating as 2020 unfolds. ” 

[Felicity Bradstock]

More: Is Asia really going to fuel a coal comeback?

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