One of the major obstacles climate change action is the problem of coal-fired power plants. Even if the most state-of-the-art technology is utilized, CO2 emissions for coal power plants is twice that of plants using natural gas. If we continue on this path, it is impossible to keep increases in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. There are currently 1.3 million people in the world without electricity but climate change inducing coal is not the answer.
In June, 2013, US president Obama announced his “Climate Action Plan” which included plans to end investment in coal-fired power plants abroad. Following this announcement, the Nordic countries, the EU and other countries started to move away from coal one-by-one. Japan, however, has turned a blind eye to this trend and has continued to invest large sums of public money on coal.
(learn more on why coal is a problem) – https://sekitan.jp/jbic/?page_id=4&lang=en)
On June 16th, 2014, OECD countries will begin talks on export credit agencies (ECAs) and their public financing for coal projects. Through ECAs, more than 60% of the 32 million dollars of public funds spent between 2007 and 2013 was funnelled towards coal projects. Prior to this meeting, organizations like the Sierra Club, WWF, Oil Change and Avaaz are participating in this twitter storm.
This OECD meeting could be a turning point in climate change action. The Japanese government along with those of France and Germany are targets of this twitter storm as they are major contributors to public coal finance through ECAs. Through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), the government of Japan remains the biggest investor in public coal finance in the world. The government of Finland, as the chair of the OECD working group, will also be targeted.
We hope that through this international action, we can convince OECD countries that they must reject public coal financing on June 16th. We especially hope that our Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will listen to this strong message from the international community and change its current position on coal.