What if climate change itself provided a lifeline to fossil fuels?

That’s what’s shaping up to happen in Asia this summer. The continent’s largest economies have been racing to install more renewable generation, with India targeting 500 gigawatts of renewables by 2030 and China likely to connect 160 GW of wind and solar this year alone. If the continent’s hydroelectric dams are able to avoid the desperate drought conditions seen last year, that pace of buildout might be enough to fulfill all the increase in electricity demand, obviating the need to burn more coal.

Unfortunately, that prospect is looking less likely than it was only a few months ago, as regional climate outlooks suggest the coming summer will be hot and dry.