The Dark Side of Coal in Myanmar : Investigative Documentary


In “The Dark Side of Coal”, director Nyan Gyi investigates the use of coal in Myanmar, for power and industrial production. Due to weak regulation and monitoring, coal already has serious impacts on Myanmar’s public health and environment – and according to the national energy policy, even more coal power plants are going to be built.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation’s office is monitoring air quality in Yangon and publishing real time data by using airveda device. Air quality measurements will serve as an indicator for us to know how safe the air we are breathing.  Click here for details, past data and more background.

Dossier: The Dangers of Coal

Coal is one of the most polluting forms of energy production - dangerous for the environment, for health, and for the climate and thus the planet as a whole. Still, in Myanmar, the use of coal continues and is even envisaged to expand, for power production as well as for industrial process heat. 

This dossier presents two documentary videos that look at the current usage of coal in Myanmar and in Thailand, respectively, and at the plans to expand coal use for power production and industry purposes. It also includes an article that shows how plans for coal power plants in Myanmar have emerged and changed over time, not least as a result of popular resistance against coal.

The Story of Coal Power in Thailand

Despite risks to environment, people and the planet as a whole, policymakers in ASEAN – Myanmar included – still pursue the development of coal power plants. This video shows what Myanmar can learn from Thailand’s experience with coal power.

Environmental Governance

Coal Power Plants in Myanmar: Recurring Plans, Recurring Protests

Whenever a plan to build a large coal power plant is announced in Myanmar, people take to the streets. While these protests have been rather successful on a local level, this has not discouraged investors from simply announcing a similar plant in another location. 

By Felix Sternagel

Fossil-Fuel Doublespeak

On paper, almost every government in the world is committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and keeping global temperatures limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. But too many governments, parroting the oil and gas industry's misleading claims, are actually supporting the expansion of fossil fuel production.

By Lili Fuhr, Hannah McKinnon
More articles on Environmental Governance

Political Culture

Uncalculated Risks: Threats and Attacks against Human Rights Defenders and the Role of Development Financiers


A new report from the Coalition for Human Rights in Development and the Defenders in Development Campaign reveals the impact of ill-planned investments in infrastructure, energy, and development activities through 25 case studies around the world. The case studies highlighted the grave dangers faced by those who raised concerns about development proposals or advocate for their communities and the environment. The case of limestone quarry in Karen State in Myanmar with the loan of ADB is included as one of the 25 case studies in the report.

More articles for Political Culture