Petition Submitted to JBIC: Don’t finance Indonesia’s Batang Coal-Fired Power Plant
February 3rd, 2014
On February 3rd, a petition was submitted to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation’s (JBIC) concerning their financial support of the proposed Batang Coal-Fired Power Plant in Central Java, Indonesia. This petition was organized by the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), Kiko Network, Friends of the Earth Japan and was signed by 90 organizations from 27 countries.
The proposed Batang coal-fired power plant is planned to have a capacity of 2,000 MW and will come at a cost of over 400 billion yen (approximately 4 billion USD). JBIC is considering to be one of the financiers of this project. Initially, J-Power and Itochu decided to join this project. In December, 2013, at a meeting with Indonesia’s president, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed that they will continue to support high efficiency coal-fired power plants in an effort to boost the public and private sectors.
However, locals have raised concerns about negative health effects, the impact on their fertile agricultural land and fishing areas and the quality of their livelihood. These concerns are not localized. In the capital city of Jakarta, a protest against the project took place in front of the Japanese embassy. Unfortunately, the local police and military had even resorted to violence in an attempt to ward off protesters (July 30th, 2013).
In this petition, we urge JBIC not to fund the Batang coal-fired power plant. One by one, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the United States government, the Nordic governments (and more) have announced they will either stop financing coal-fired power projects or set stricter regulations. We hope that JBIC which continues to finance some of the biggest coal-fired power plants in the world, will soon follow suit and give up coal financing coal-fired power projects abroad.