A World Resources Institute article posted on October 19, 2020, urges that a transition to renewable energy sources to address Southeast Asia’s energy demand will be the most sustainable path to post-pandemic recovery in the region. Southeast Asia’s strong reliance on fossil fuels has exacerbated the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and has contributed to surges in unemployment. GDP growth in the region is expected to decline relative to previous projections due to the sharp fall in coal and oil prices that resulted from the pandemic’s lockdowns.
The article suggests that a shift to low-carbon energy options will quell economic slowdown, create jobs, improve public health, lower electricity costs, improve electricity access, mitigate climate change, and improve energy system resilience. All of these benefits will aid Southeast Asia in “Building Back Better.”