Climate Change

Fueling the Tiger Cubs: How Southeast Asia’s Media Is Covering Coal’s Last Frontier

October 2020

Media Analysis

New research from young journalists in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines analyzes the coal and clean energy media narratives that are shaping national energy debates in Southeast Asia.

A shift away from coal and toward clean energy sources to power the developing countries of Southeast Asia is essential to slowing climate change. With guidance from Climate Tracker, a network of 12,000+ young climate journalists around the globe, ten journalists in five Southeast Asian countries have spent many months researching energy-related reporting in their countries, focusing on coal and clean energy media narratives dating back to January 2019.

Their work – commissioned by the Stanley Center and produced by Climate Tracker – is part of a multi-country media analysis published under the banner “Fueling the Tiger Cubs: How Southeast Asia’s Media Is Covering Coal’s Last Frontier.”

Did you know?

Tiger Cub Economies refer to the five developing countries in Southeast Asia that are the focus countries of this analysis: the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The term is an extension of the original Four Asian Tigers: Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

Over the coming weeks, research findings will be published in a series of national reports and synthesized in a regional report. While these reports do not offer specific recommendations for improving clean energy media narratives, the findings will help journalists, media organizations, clean energy advocates, and other stakeholders develop effective interventions and actions.

As each report is released, the Stanley Center and Climate Tracker are gathering input on possible action steps that diverse stakeholders can take to strengthen and shift coverage in ways that better position the region to choose a clean and more climate-friendly energy path. This Regional Action Plan Consultation will inform a Regional Action Plan, the final report in the series.

Reports and translations will be published below and on Climate Tracker’s website.

Media Analysis Reports


Researchers: Nguyen Nguyen with Mi Hoang


Researchers: Sippachai Kunnuwong with Kadesiree Thossaphonpaisan and Wirada Saelim


Researcher: Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar

Coming Soon


Researchers: Ari Ulandari with Cherika Hardjakusumah

  • National Report (Indonesian) [Coming Soon]
  • Executive Summary (Indonesian) [Coming Soon]
  • National Report (English) [Coming Soon]
  • Executive Summary (English)


Author: Mai Hoang, Southeast Asia Lead, Climate Tracker