May 16, 2019

World’s 5th Largest Bank Moves Against Coal

Loopholes concern climate campaigners

In response to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc (MUFG)’s new policy on coal finance, global climate campaign group 350.Org issued the following statement.

Shin Furuno, 350.Org’s East Asia Finance Campaigner said from Japan:

“Every day we welcome a new commitment from investors and banks to stop funding coal, oil, and gas projects. These commitments come because people across the world are demanding an end to the age of fossil fuels and for real solutions to the climate crisis.

Today we welcome the commitment by MUFG (Japan’s largest financial services company and the 5th biggest bank in the world) to adopt Sustainable Finance Goals in service of the the Sustainable Development Goals, including no new finance for coal-fired power projects. Put simply, this should entail a commitment to cancel any funding for new coal plants anywhere. The UN Secretary General has recently called for no less.

However, MUFGs new policy update includes a massive loophole.1  This exception could nullify the whole purpose of a policy restriction and provides cover for MUFG to continue business as usual. Exceptions like these are not acceptable. This is not what finance sector regulators, the UN, customers, shareholders, or people across the world expect.

The policy needs to be much stronger in terms of ruling out both corporate and project finance to coal plant developers and its coal mining policy is not nearly up to what the science requires – no new coal mines or expansions. Period.

If MUFG is serious about sustainable financing it would declare an end to coal finance without exemptions and a phased reduction in exposure to carbon intensive assets in line with scientific targets as set by the Paris Agreement.”


A full copy of the MUFG policy is available here:

More information on 350.Org’s campaign on Japanese banks dirty financing is here:

[1] The policy states that: “Exceptions may be considered where we will take into consideration the energy policies and circumstances of the host countries, international standards such as the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits, and the use of other available technologies when deciding whether to provide financing”.