Movement toward a phase out of coal and other fossil fuels accelerated at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that started on October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. However, on October 29, just before COP 26, the Japanese government went in the opposite direction with a decision to provide public financing for LNG Canada, a major fossil fuel project.
In response, on November 10, Japanese civil society organisations (CSOs) handed a statement to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), condemning JBIC’s decision to provide up to US $850 million (over CAD$1 billion) for the LNG Canada Project. After delivering the statement, the CSOs organised a protest in front of JBIC’s Tokyo office calling on the bank to withdraw the decision on the grounds that it ignores the climate crisis and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The statement has been signed by 93 organisations from 30 countries around the world (Updated on November 12: 95 organisations from 30 countries).
On November 4, a statement was announced by the UK government, the chair of this year’s COP, calling for measures that included the suspension of public support not only for coal but for all overseas fossil fuel energy projects. The statement was approved by more than 20 countries, including the United States and Canada.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government, through JBIC and other public financial institutions, has been the world’s second largest provider of public funds for fossil fuel projects, providing an average of $10.9 billion annually from 2018 to 2020. In 2021 alone, JBIC decided to finance the Waitsia gas project stage 2 development in Australia and the LNG Canada project, and it is currently considering financing the Barossa gas development project in Australia.
As the world moves away from fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal, Japan is increasingly being left out of the global decarbonization initiative. It still has no roadmap to completely phase out its involvement in coal power domestically and internationally. The Japanese government should decide to stop supporting the Indramayu coal power project in Indonesia and Matabari 2 in Bangladesh, and should immediately move toward the suspension of public support for oil and gas.
Please read the statement ‘JBIC and Private Banks Must Reconsider Decision to Finance LNG Canada Project
CSOs Strongly Condemn JBIC’s Decision Just before COP 26 to Provide Public Finance That Ignores Climate Crisis and Rights of Indigenous Peoples.’
What is the LNG Canada project?
The LNG Canada project plans to liquefy shale gas extracted from Montney, British Columbia and transported through the 670 kilometer Coastal Gaslink pipeline to Kitimat. The gas would then be exported to the Asian market. Investors include Mitsubishi Corporation and Royal Dutch Shell. JBIC plans to provide $1.85 billion in co-financing for the project with private financial institutions. It is not clear which private financial institutions are co-financing the project, but Japan’s three largest banks, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and MUFG Bank, have already provided financing for the Coastal GasLink pipeline project, and therefore it is likely that they are also involved in the LNG Canada project.
For more information contact:
Friends of the Earth Japan
tel: +81-3-6909-5983/fax: +81-3-6909-5986