December 6, 2019 – The No Coal Japan coalition published a provocative ad in the Financial Times (Asia edition) today featuring a caricature of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dressed in a running tank top with a “coal medal” hanging around his neck. The ad reads, “We are in a race against catastrophic climate change,” and urges Prime Minister Abe to win the race by ending support for coal-fired power plants.
The publication of the ad comes at a timely moment as government officials gather in Madrid for COP 25 to discuss the climate crisis and increase ambition to reduce carbon emissions.
Despite the UN Secretary-General’s call to end new coal plants by 2020, Japanese officials are stubbornly refusing to end their coal support. Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry recently remarked that he would like to keep coal in the country’s energy mix.
Japan is the world’s 2nd largest provider of public finance for overseas coal plants and is the only G7 country promoting coal plants domestically and internationally. Japanese public institutions are currently considering finance for new coal plant, such as the Vung Ang 2 coal plant in Vietnam. Within Japan, 15 coal plants have come online since 2012, and another 15 are currently under construction. In addition, three of the Olympics gold sponsors – Mizuho, SMBC and Tokio Marine – are leading financiers and insurers of coal plants.
Kimiko Hirata, International Director of Kiko Network, said:
“We are in a race against catastrophic climate change yet Japan is leading us backwards with its coal support. At this COP25 in Madrid, the Japanese government and corporations cling to this dirty, outdated technology further sullies their reputation. Our coalition will continue to fight until Japan ends its support for coal.”
Collin Rees, Senior Campaigner for Oil Change International, said:
“The climate crisis is threatening the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with deadly heatwaves and typhoons. Instead of using the Olympics spotlight to demonstrate climate leadership, Japan is bringing five new coal plants online next year and considering finance for several new coal plants in Southeast Asia. Japan must stop fueling the climate crisis with its coal support.”
Kimiko Hirata, Kiko Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
Collin Rees, Oil Change International, email@example.com