Japanese environmental NGOs, including Friends of the Earth Japan, have submitted a petition to the Japanese public and private sectors for the cancellation of the Vung Ang 2 Coal-fired Power Generation Project in Vietnam. The petition was signed by 127 organizations from more than 40 countries and regions . The recipients include the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and three megabanks that are considering financing the project, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The construction of a new coal-fired power plant will not only accelerate climate change, but also generate environmental pollution, such as air pollution, at the site. Environmental pollution and health hazards due to existing factories and power plants have already been reported at the project site.

“It is proven that the emission concentration of air pollutants from Vung Ang 2 is several times higher than that of power plants constructed in Japan. Various problems in the Environmental Impact Assessment (ESIA) have also been pointed out in an analysis study by the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW),”

Ayumi Fukakusa of Friends of the Earth Japan

“Vung Ang 2 is one of the symbolic projects to reveal that Japan continues to support coal fired projects even now. Private banks and developers that are involved pursue the projects in contradiction to their policy committing to move away from new coal projects. In order to face the climate crisis and to support Vietnamees’ transition to sustainable and clean energy, this project shouldn’t be overlooked and immediately stopped.”

Kimiko Hirata, International Director of Kiko Network and Chairperson of Climate Action Network Japan

“Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan recently hit the Bay of Bengal and many communities in Bangladesh and India are suffering severe loss of livelihoods, homes and even of lives. This is one example of how impoverished people in developing countries are affected by the climate crisis. Financing more coal means even greater suffering and devastation. Japan must stop financing coal and should instead support renewable energy and just solutions to climate change.”

Lidy Nacpil, Co-coordinator of The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and Demand Climate Justice (DCJ)

“According to our research, Japan has been providing seven times more subsidies to fossil fuel than renewable energy. As the Japanese government prepares unprecedented levels of public finance in response to COVID-19, it is critical they use this recovery stimulus to support a just transition from fossil fuels that strengthens the development of resilient, clean energy economies,”

Bronwen Tucker, Research Analyst of Oil Change International

“The four private banks that are considering financing Vung Ang 2 have adopted a policy of not financing coal-fired power plants in principle. There are however serious loopholes in these policies, and Vung Ang 2 is likely to fall into this policy exception. In order to achieve the 1.5-degree target of the Paris Agreement and to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown, the banks should not easily apply such exceptions. As the signatories of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Banking, they should be fully phased out of coal-fired power at an early stage in order to ensure the consistency with the Paris Agreement and to avoid the risk of stranded assets.”

Eri Watanabe of 350.org Japan

Read the original FoE Japan Press Statement in English and Japanese

For more information contact:
Ayumi Fukakusa,
Climate Change and Energy Campaigner,
Friends of the Earth Japan
email: fukakusa@foejapan.org

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