Energy demand is exploding in Southeast Asia. The region’s electricity demand is the fastest growing in the world, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is struggling to keep up. Total demand in these rapidly developing countries has skyrocketed by a whopping 80 percent since 2000, with millions of consumers increasingly securing access to electricity. Energy demand has also been pushed higher by rising temperatures in the region, meaning that the demand is only going to keep growing as the world grows warmer. Growing energy demand has put a lot of stress on the ASEAN countries’ ability to make good on their own climate change promises, as the region is largely powered by emissions-heavy fossil fuels…Natural gas, which is considered to be greener than coal and oil, could figure into Southeast Asia’s plans to curb its carbon emissions. The United States has also shown strong backing for energy transition initiatives, with pilot programs like the U.S. Agency for International Development’s $36 million Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II, which aims to catalyze Vietnam’s clean energy transition over the next five years. Natural gas is not as climate-friendly as renewable resources like wind and solar, and programs advocating for LNG as a clean energy alternative can easily be criticized for greenwashing.