[Joint Statement] SMBC Group announces a new coal policy, but it is still not aligned with the Paris Agreement
On July 29, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC Group) published its 2020 Annual Report (FY2019) and stated that it will reduce its credit balance of project finance related to coal-fired power generation to zero by 2040. Environmental NGOs welcome this step forward with SMBC Group’s new coal policy, but it still does not align with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals.
NGOs Urge Japan’s Three Megabanks to not Finance the Bluewaters Coal-fired Power Station in Australia
The Bluewaters coal-fired power station in Australia, owned by Sumitomo Corporation and Kansai Electric Power Company, has a debt repayment of AU$400 million (about 30 billion yen) and it has been reported that Japanese banks may provide financial support in August. Environmental NGOs urge the three Japanese megabanks to not finance this project, and for Sumitomo Corporation and Kansai Electric Power Company to decommission the power station early.
Japan takes two steps forward, one step back on overseas coal finance – Coalition calls for end to financing for new coal projects without exception –
The Japanese government issued a policy stating that, “in principle,” the government will not finance overseas coal plants for any country that does not have a decarbonization policy. However, the policy contains dangerous exceptions allowing financing for “highly efficient” coal technologies and will not apply to coal plants already under consideration, such as the Vung Ang 2 coal plant in Vietnam.
NGOs protest the Japanese Government’s revised policy on overseas coal power projects as it still goes against Paris climate goals
The Japanese government adopted principles for the next Infrastructure System Export Strategy and decided not to provide official financial support for overseas coal-fired power projects in principle, but allow exceptions to continue supporting highly efficient projects. Environmental NGOs declare their disappointment with this decision and call upon the government to end supporting ALL coal power projects.
Massive global shareholder backing for Mizuho climate shareholder proposal
A first-ever Japanese climate shareholder proposal received massive international investor backing at Mizuho Financial Group’s shareholder meeting on 25 June 2020, with 34% of shareholders, worth well over US$500bn, voting for the proposal.