Climate Correspondent, Southeast Asia
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Michael is a Climate Correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Malaysia. Originally from Yorkshire, Michael has about 20 years of journalism experience reporting from various countries across Asia on climate change and human rights, from deforestation to natural disasters and food security.
November 13, 2023
Communities impacted by a multi-billion-dollar climate deal to help Indonesia shift from polluting coal power to renewable energy are at risk of losing out because they have had limited involvement in planning the transition so far, analysts warned.
Earlier this month, Jakarta published a plan for how it will slash planet-heating emissions from its power sector under a $20-billion Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) backed by wealthy nations - welcomed as a good start by energy experts.
October 23, 2023
A multi-billion dollar climate deal to help Vietnam shift from coal to clean energy should be put on hold until the government stops a crackdown on environmentalists that threatens efforts to support communities hit by the transition, activists said.
Late last year, G7 nations - together with Norway, Denmark and the European Union - agreed to provide $15.5 billion to help Vietnam ditch climate-heating coal, similar to other pacts with South Africa, Indonesia and Senegal that offer emerging economies financing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
October 13, 2023
Deep inside his tribe's sacred rainforest on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, Indigenous guide Putu Willy Suputra looks on in disbelief as a group of tourists video themselves mimicking monkeys by swinging on a long, woody vine.
Suputra is a member of the 20,000-strong Adat Dalem Tamblingan Indigenous community who have lived in northern Bali since the 9th century and want rights to curb tourism and protect their rainforest and lake.
October 06, 2023
Philanthropists are stepping in to ensure vulnerable workers and their communities are not left behind when developing nations agree multi-billion-dollar climate deals to shutter fossil-fuel power plants and ramp up green energy investments.
Last year, Vietnam and Indonesia joined South Africa in clinching a "just energy transition partnership" (JETP) - a funding package from wealthy governments and banks to help emerging economies phase out coal while creating green jobs - followed by Senegal this June.
September 22, 2023
Indonesia's elections next year are likely to spur deforestation as politicians seek campaign funds from businesses in return for easier access to rich natural resources, environmentalists say.
The Southeast Asian nation, the world's third-largest democracy, will hold a general election on Feb. 14, with regional polls planned for later in 2024.
September 06, 2023
When Indonesian civil servant Dwi Bangun isn't sat at her desk in Jakarta or stuck in the capital's notorious traffic jams, she can be found barefoot on the nearby coastline, wading through the water to plant mangroves.
The 30-year-old volunteers with Hutan Itu Indonesia (Forest Is Indonesia), an innovative green group that connects young city dwellers, teaches them about the importance of the nation's forests and encourages them to get involved in conservation.
August 17, 2023
Ovy Sabrina fights plastic waste in Indonesia by spreading noodle packets, coffee sachets, straws and other trash around the sprawling archipelago - entombed in eco-friendly bricks.
Her family knows not to stand in her way on environmental issues, especially five years ago when she came up with the idea of making bricks using single-use plastic to counter pollution and the capital Jakarta's high-emissions building boom.
August 16, 2023
The deadliest U.S. wildfires in over a century have killed more than 100 people in Hawaii, destroyed or damaged more than 2,200 buildings and caused an estimated $5.5 billion in losses, grabbing global headlines about the effects of climate change.
The Hawaii disaster came soon after wildfires drove tourists to flee their hotels in Greece and major cities were blanketed in smoke from blazes in Canada, where fires have engulfed parts of nearly all 13 provinces and territories this year.
July 26, 2023
Southeast Asian nations are gearing up to tackle the threat of a tougher-than-usual "haze" season together, as the El Nino climate phenomenon raises the risk of soaring temperatures.
Ministers and officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met in Singapore last month, where they vowed to ramp up monitoring of wildfires and efforts to prevent air pollution, and finalise a new plan to boost cooperation.
July 20, 2023
The stream that supplied Indah Lestari's family with fresh fish has dwindled to a trickle since rainforest surrounding her farm was cleared by Indonesian soldiers - leaving behind a barren and eerie landscape that resembles the surface of the moon.
Lestari, from Tewai Baru village in Gunung Mas Regency, said she could do nothing when the armed troops seized half her land in late 2020 to make way for a huge cassava plantation meant to help boost domestic food supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.