Asia — 143 organizations from more than 30 countries and regions, including environmental NGOs, youth groups, and civil society groups, have submitted a petition calling on the three Japanese megabanks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, SMBC Group, and Mizuho Financial Group, to phase out financing and investments for the fossil fuel sector and the forestry sector, for the role they play in accelerating the climate crisis. The petition was delivered before the banks’ Annual Shareholders Meetings on 23 June.
The petition notes that whilst the three megabanks have improved their climate response in recent years, their efforts are simply not enough to align with the Paris Agreement. Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that, in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, no more investments should be directed to new fossil fuel projects, and existing facilities should be gradually phased out. However, the current targets set by the banks to curb financed GHG emissions do not meet these requirements. The petition also pointed out that their policies on coal power, coal mining, oil and gas, and forest-related sectors must go further.
The groups are demanding that the three megabanks demonstrate leadership towards a carbon-free society through responsible financial actions as described below:
- We call upon the banks to cease funding new fossil fuel-related projects and projects that involve deforestation without exceptions.
- We call upon the banks to outline a strategy to phase out existing investment and financing for fossil fuel projects or related companies on a timeframe that is consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree target, and to clarify short-, medium-, and long-term targets and metrics for the achievement of these objectives.
- We call upon the banks to ensure that your roadmap for decarbonization doesn’t rely on practically unproven technologies, such as CCUS and co-combustion.
The Petition and full list of signatories may be found here.
* Please refer to “Principles for Paris-Aligned Financial Institutions” for more details.