Asia is pumping billions of dollars into new gas infrastructure, making the region pivotal in a debate over the role of the fossil fuel as the world aims to curb emissions.

The region has more than $350 billion of projects underway to expand liquefied natural gas terminals, gas-burning power plants and pipelines — triple the estimated investment for Europe — according to data from Global Energy Monitor.

That boom is aimed at allowing economies including China, the Philippines and Vietnam to avoid burning more coal, although it still risks locking in the use of fossil fuels for decades and could slow some deployments of renewable energy.