Coal emissions in Southeast Asia are projected to triple by 2030, resulting in an increase in pollution-related deaths, CNN reports.

Researchers at Harvard and Greenpeace say the demand for electricity in Southeast Asia is projected to increase by a staggering 83% between 2011 and 2035 - twice the global average."Air pollution in China and India has received a lot of scientific attention," said Harvard University's Shannon Koplitz, a lead researcher in the project, in a statement.

However, she says the "impacts of planned coal power expansion in the rest of the Southeast and East Asian region have been understudied."

The peer-reviewed study cites economic development, population growth and urban migration as reasons for the huge leap in energy demand, and says that in Southeast Asia - unlike in the US, Europe, China or India -- these demands are still likely to be met by coal-fired power plants rather than renewable energy. It states the public health consequences could be "severe."

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