Last week, more than 22,000 signatures were submitted to Japan’s major banking groups: Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust. Japan’s banks are facing heightened reputational risks as stakeholders worldwide pressurize them to stop funding coal and align their business with the Paris Agreement.

350 Japan staff deliver signatures to Mizuho Financial Group. Photo: Le Quynh

The science is clear: we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to ensure a liveable future for our planet. Which is why on November 1st, to coincide with the Mekong-Japan Summit, 350 Japan staff delivered a petition calling on Japan’s major banks to publicly commit to not fund the Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power station in Vietnam.

The Vung Ang 2 coal plant poses significant health and human rights concerns in Vietnam. Photo: Le Quynh

Not only is Vung Ang 2 being developed in an economy where renewables are fast becoming cheaper than coal, but funding yet another polluting coal plant will be in direct contravention of the banks’ promises to abide by the Paris Agreement as signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking.

Ironically, one of the most advanced economies in Asia, Japan, stubbornly supports new coal fired power plant developments in Southeast Asia by promoting its so-called “clean coal” technologies while Japan’s biggest banks back up this outdated industrial strategy.”

Shin Furuno, Senior Regional Campaigner at 350.org

22,000 people from 49 countries have demanded that this come to an end, and urged Japan’s banks to make the necessary decision to stop funding coal worldwide. They must forego short-term gains for sustainable development that protects lives and a healthy environment for future generations.

Read the petition here.

 

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