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Myanmar Current situation

What is Myanmarʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Emissions profile

Historically, based on FAO data, the LULUCF sector has been the largest source of GHG emissions in Myanmar. Over the past decades, these emissions have decreased somewhat and were 28% lower in 2019 than in 1990.2 While LULUCF emissions reported in Myanmar’s NDC differ from the FAO LULUCF emissions, the sector remains the biggest source of emissions in Myanmar.1 However, those from other sectors have steadily increased so that they were more than double their 1990 levels in 2015 and rose a further 23% between then and 2019. As a consequence, while total GHG emissions in 2019 were nearly the same as in 1990, the share of non-LULUCF GHG emissions have increased from around 16% in 1990 to 40% in 2019.

Myanmar has expansive forests covering more than 60% of its territory. However, the country is ranked as one of the top ten in the world for tree cover loss.3 The dominant driver of LULUCF emissions is commodity-driven deforestation.30 As stated in the NDC, due to deforestation forecasts under a BAU, Myanmar’s LULUCF emissions will remain at a level of around 50 MtCO₂e p.a. in the decade to 2030. The unconditional NDC target seeks to reduce the annual deforestation rate, and thus annual emissions from this sector, by 50% by 2030, and this is in line with the country’s national REDD+ strategy.

Myanmar’s non-LULUCF GHG emissions are mostly due to agricultural activities. In 2019, of the 73 MtCO₂e emitted by the country (excluding LULUCF), the agricultural sector accounted for 57%, of total emissions while the energy and waste sectors accounted for 32% and 8% respectively. Breaking down emissions by gas, CH₄ accounted for 57%, CO₂ 34%, and N₂O 9%, of total GHG excl. LULUCF.

While fuel combustion in the energy sector generated 94% of CO₂ emissions, CH₄ was mostly due to agriculture (88%) and waste (11%), and likewise N₂O (76% and 15% due to agriculture and waste respectively).

Emissions from agriculture have been growing steadily around 1.8% p.a. since 2010. The primary drivers of Myanmar’s agricultural emissions are rice cultivation and enteric fermentation. The NDC, citing statistics from the FAO, puts these as contributing 12% and 9%, respectively, to the country’s total GHG emissions in 2013.31

Emissions from energy and industry have grown at a greater rate, and experienced greater volatility than other sectors, particularly since 2010. Energy sector emissions experienced an upward annual trend of 13.6% between 2010 and 2017, while that for industrial emissions has been 16.6%.

1 The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Nationally Determined Contributions. (2021).

2 FAOSTAT. FAOSTAT Statistical Database. (2022).

3 FAO. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020. (2020).

4 Liu, J. & Wallace, R. Climate danger grows in ‘vulnerable’ Myanmar after military coup. Al Jazeera (2021).

5 Associated Press. EU sanctions target major Myanmar energy company. DW (2022).

6 Associated Press. 2 big energy firms exit Myanmar over human rights abuses by the military government. NPR (2022).

7 Battersby, A. Myanmar vows to accelerate energy projects. Upstream (2022).

8 Viktor Tachev. The Risks of the Myanmar LNG Pipeline. Energy Tracker Asia (2022).

9 International Trade Administration. Burma – Energy. (2022).

10 Climate Analytics. Decarbonising South and South East Asia. (2019).

11 MOEE. NEP Plan. The Republic of the Union of Myanmar Ministry of Electricity and Energy. (2022).

12 IEA. Myanmar National Electrification Project (NEP). IEA/IRENA Renewables Policies Database. (2017).

13 International Finance Corporation. Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Myanmar Hydropower Sector. (2018).

14 Bo, M. Myanmar on brink of economic collapse one year after military coup. DW (2022).

15 Aung, T. S., Fischer, T. B. & Azmi, A. S. Are large-scale dams environmentally detrimental? Life-cycle environmental consequences of mega-hydropower plants in Myanmar. Int. J. Life Cycle Assess. 25, 1749–1766 (2020).

16 The World Bank. Urban Transport in Yangon and Mandalay: Review of Sector Institutions, Expenditures, and Funding. (2020).

17 Asian Development Bank. Myanmar Transport Sector Policy Note – Urban Transport. (2016).

18 The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Myanmar Energy Master Plan. (2015).

19 Frontier. Pledges but no progress as military neglects environment. Frontier Myanmar (2022).

20 Htoon, K. L. Government regulations put the brakes on cattle exports. Frontier Myanmar (2020).

21 Myint, T. China-Myanmar border trade: Case study on live cattle trade of Myanmar. (2022).

22 The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Myanmar’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution – INDC. (2015).

23 Lynn, K. Y. Plans for wind power from Chinese firm fall apart in Myanmar. China Dialogue (2020).

24 IRENA. Energy Profile – Myanmar. (2021).

25 MOEE & ERIA. Myanmar Energy Outlook 2020. (2020).

26 Eckstein, D., Künzel, V. & Schäfer, L. Global climate risk index 2021. (2021).

27 Both the State Administration Council (SAC), the military junta currently governing Myanmar, and the National Unity Government (NUG), the government in exile, submitted NDCs in July 2021. Both documents are nearly identical. The SAC aims to achieve a conditional target for total emissions reduction of 415 MtCO₂e (including LULUCF) over the period 2021 to 2030 (with an unconditional target of 245 MtCO₂e reduction). The NUG aims for 413 MtCO₂e reduction conditionally, 244 MtCO₂e reduction unconditionally, both including LULUCF and over the period 2021-2030.19 In this profile, we analyse the NDC officially submitted to the UNFCCC.

28 See assumptions and calculations here

29 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.

30 For further information, please see Global Forest Watch.

31 Given that the NDC has emissions for agriculture accounting for 32.1% of the total in 2013, rice cultivation and enteric fermentation would account for 37% and 28% of the sectoral total respectively. Data from the FAO confirms that rice cultivation and enteric fermentation are the main components of agricultural emissions, accounting for around 72% of emissions from this sector currently. The share from these two drivers has decreased slightly from 77% in 1990. At the same time, enteric fermentation’s share has increased while that of rice cultivation has decreased over the period from 1990. This may be a consequence of increased cattle exports after the government lifted a ban on this trade in October 2017.20,21 For further details on agricultural exports see Myanmar’s OEC country page.

32 Values taken from the World Bank. Total fossil fuel rents amounted to 3.5% and 2.7% of GDP in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Other sources have the oil and gas sector contributing 3.4% of GDP in 2017-18.

33 The rural electrification targets are forecast to provide power, through mini-grids, to 1.8 million (unconditional) to 3.6 million (conditional) people. This is presumably in line with earlier targets for the per household electrification rate (45% by 2020-21, 60% by 2025-26, and 80% by 2030) given in the country’s previous NDC submission.22

34 This being the difference between cumulative reductions (2021-2030) under the higher bound of the 1.5ºC compatible range and the that under the conditional NDC. Using the lower bound of the 1.5°C compatible range and the unconditional NDC, the gap would be 265 MtCO₂e.

35 Energy-related GHG emissions increased from 9.4 MtCO₂e/yr in 2010 to 23.6 MtCO₂e/yr in 2019, an increase of 150%.

36 Oil’s contribution to primary energy increased from 54 PJ/yr in 2010 to 295 PJ/yr in 2019. Its share in the energy mix grew from 9% to 30% over this period.

37 Unabated fossil fuels supplied 498 PJ/yr in 2019, around half of the country’s TPES that year. The other half was supplied by variable and conventional renewables. Of renewable energy, around 90% is from hydropower.24 Under the median of the 1.5°C pathways, unabated fossil fuels energy supply 232 PJ/yr in 2035 and 111 in PJ/yr. While unabated fossil fuels share in TPES would drop only slightly by 2030 (to 45%), by 2050 their share would drop to 13%. Note that unabated fossil fuel supply has increased drastically between 2015 and 2019. In 2015, they supplied 285 PJ/yr and contribute a 36% share to TPES. The increase is largely driven by a greater supply of oil. See the IEA’s Myanmar country page for further details.

38 These are in line with previous energy policy and electricity planning documents. For example, the BAU scenario in the NDC is taken from the country’s 2014 National Electricity Master Plan.

39 The NDC does state that coal will not increase beyond 2030 and be phased out by 2050. However, the government sees natural gas’ role in the energy mix as being more dependent on the ability to scale up renewable generation capacity.1

40 The exemption being the pathway that assumes low energy demand.

41 For a breakdown of Myanmar’s renewable capacity and generation, please see the IRENA’s country profile.

42 The residential sector accounted for, on average, around 80% of total final consumption between 1990 and 2010. In 2019, this dropped to 55% as other sectors, particularly industry and transport, have seen increased consumption. Biomass has historically accounted for 98% of final energy in the buildings sector (average 1990 to 2015). Biomass’ share has fallen since 2015 and was 87% in 2019. See the IEA’s Myanmar country page for further details.

43 As of 2018. See the IRENA’s country profile. As noted in the country’s 2015 Energy Master Plan, in 2012, rural household lighting accounted for around 0.3% of total household energy consumption while rural cooking accounted for 86%.18

44 Note that Myanmar’s rural population makes up 70% of the total.1

45 Specifically, the government intends to distribute 5.1 million improved fuelwood cook stoves and additionally promote the replacement of wood cook stoves by LPG based cooking technology across 1 million households by 2030. The distribution of improved fuelwood cook stoves is estimated to result in a cumulative emissions reduction of 12.99 MtCO₂e over the period 2021-2030. Of this, 21% will go towards the country’s NDC emission reduction target. The switch to LPG cook-stoves is estimated to result in 14.94 MtCO₂e avoided emissions over the period 2021-2030.

46 Oil consumption in the building sector grew from 0.09 to 20 PJ/yr between 2015 and 2019. Its share in the sector’s final energy increased from 0.02% to 4% over that period.

47 This is part of the NDC’s overall conditional energy efficiency target of a 20% improvement from 2012 levels by 2030.

48 Industrial gross value added contributed 38% to GDP in 2019, up from 25.6% in 2010. Over the same period, industrial final energy consumption’s share of the total increased from 10% to 19%.

49 Oil consumption increased from 9.6 PJ/yr in 2010 to 94.6 PJ/yr in 2019. Over the same time, total final energy consumption in industry increased from 53.5 PJ/yr to 160 PJ/yr. Oil thus accounted for around 80% of consumption growth.

50 The energy consumption reduction target is also at odds with forecasts put forth in the 2015 Energy Master Plan. That document projected that industrial final energy consumption would increase at an annual growth rate of 11.6% under a “medium” scenario where the country’s GDP would grow at 7.1% per year over this time.18 More recently, a report by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia found that under BAU, industry’s final energy consumption would grow from 5.7 Mtoe in 2016 to around 10 Mtoe by 2030 and above 15 Mtoe by 2040. Under scenarios which assume a higher energy efficiency or lower GDP, industry’s 2040 consumption would be between 10 and 15 Mtoe.25

51 The 2015 Energy Master Plan notes that offshore natural gas production and export had been the largest driver of economic growth in the decade leading up to 2012.18

52 Myanmar’s 2015 Energy Master Plan notes the linear relationship between motorisation and GDP/capita and anticipates that this relationship will hold through the planning period out to 2035.18

53 According to the Department of Road Transport Administration, between 2010 and 2019, the number of registered vehicles in the city increased from 261 thousand to 913 thousand. Motorcycles accounted for 46% of this increase while cars accounted for 28%. Busses, on the other hand, only accounted for 1% of the increase.

54 Note that transport sector emissions saw a sharp decline in 2008 likely due to the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Nargis. The increasing frequency of such events has made Myanmar one of the most highly impacted countries by climate change.1,26

55 A more recent report by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia also forecasts transport energy consumption to more than double between 2016 and 2040 and continue to rely heavily on oil products, but with natural gas playing a more prominent role.25

Myanmarʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Power
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Transport
  • Other
  • Buildings
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • Industry (processes)
Energy (19%)0

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

In the energy sector, the sharp increase in emissions since 2011 appears to be primarily driven by a concurrent increase in the amount of oil in total primary energy supply. This fuel has accounted for 63% of the total 62% increase in primary energy observed between 2011 and 2017. Natural gas has accounted for 25% of the growth over this period.

Trade in these fossil fuels is also a significant economic driver for the country, with natural gas rents accounting for, on average, 2.24% of annual GDP between 2010 and 2019. Oil rents have fallen from a high of 2.7% of GDP in 2006 to 0.2% in 2019.32 The political conflict in the country, which began in early 2021, has resulted in the government being excluded from international climate negotiations.4 Moreover, the EU has recently expanded their ongoing sanctions against the government to include the state owned oil and gas company.5 This has followed the withdrawal of major energy companies that were previously operating in the country.6 As such, China, which continues to develop gas export and power generation projects in Myanmar, will likely play an increasingly large role in Myanmar’s energy development.7

Myanmar’s primary energy has historically been dominated by biomass (biofuels and waste). Between 1990 and 2010, biomass accounted for, on average, 75% of the annual primary energy supply, although this dropped below 70% between 2004 and 2008 due to an increase in natural gas use. More recent, and significant, has been the rapid increase in oil use. Oil’s share in annual primary energy supply has increased from a historical average of around 11% (1990-2010) to 29% in 2017. Consequently, biomass’ share of TPES has dropped to 48%.

Myanmar’s NDC sets forth targets for the country’s power sector. Total capacity is forecast to increase by three to four times by 2030 under the BAU and two NDC scenarios respectively. Under the BAU, coal will account for the largest share of new capacity, followed by hydropower. While the NDC scenarios have coal playing a lesser role, natural gas will gain importance, accounting for 25% of new capacity. It is only under the conditional NDC that renewables account for the largest share of new capacity (48%), including a large deployment of wind and solar.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Unconditional NDC Target:

  • Cumulative reduction from a BAU scenario over the period 2021-2030 of 244 MtCO₂e, including LULUCF.
  • We assess that this translates to a 22% increase in emissions (excl. LULUCF) between 2015 and 2030.

Conditional NDC Target:

  • Cumulative reduction from a BAU scenario over the period 2021-2030 of 415 MtCO₂e, including LULUCF.
  • We assess that this translates to a 13% increase in emissions (excl. LULUCF) between 2015 and 2030.

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • Conditional energy efficiency target: reduce energy consumption by 20% from 2012 baseline by 2030. This is estimated to result in a cumulative reduction (2021-2030) of 0.133 MtCO₂e from BAU. This target mainly covers the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors.1
  • Energy efficiency for cook-stoves: distribute approximately 5.1 million cook-stoves between 2018 and 2030. This will result in a cumulative reduction (2021-2030) of 12.99 MtCO₂e. However, only 21% of this will go towards Myanmar’s NDC target, the rest subject to carbon offsetting.1
  • Fuel switching in cooking: government will support the replacement of traditional cook-stoves by LPG for 1 million households. This is anticipated to result in a cumulative reduction (2021-2030) of 14.94 MtCO₂e.1


  • Unconditional target of 7.16 GW of renewable electricity (5.16 from hydro) by 2030. Conditional target of 8.75 GW renewables (5.68 from hydro).1
  • Rural electrification: 45% (unconditional target) to 60% (conditional target) of rural off-grid population to gain access to renewable electricity. This is estimated to result in a cumulative reduction (2021-2030) of 0.719 MtCO₂e (unconditional target) to 0.874 MtCO₂e (conditional target).33
  • A cumulative reduction of power sector emissions of 35% (unconditional) and 48% (conditional) from BAU between 2021-2035.


  • Conditional target to increase tree canopy cover across 275,000 ha of agricultural land with current tree cover of < 10% per ha. This is expected to result in a cumulative CO₂ sequestration of 10.4 Mt (2021-2030).1


  • Unconditional target to steadily reduce net emissions from forestry as to achieve cumulative reduction from BAU baseline of 25% (2021-2030) and 58% (2021-2040).
  • Conditional target to steadily reduce net emissions from forestry as to achieve cumulative reduction from BAU baseline of 51% (2021-2030) and 102% (2021-2040). The latter would imply that Myanmar realizes a cumulative sink rather than source in forestry over said time line.