Japanese and International Civil Society Urge Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui for a Complete Coal Phase-out

Japanese and International Civil Society Urge Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui for a Complete Coal Phase-out
109 Groups and 2470 Individuals Signed the Petition

Tokyo, Japan -9 environmental organizations submitted a petition on 23 June, calling on the Japanese 3 megabank groups, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsui Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, for a complete phase out from coal fired power and the establishment of fossil fuel phase out strategies aligned with the Paris Agreement.

The petition was submitted in the lead up to the banks’ Annual General Meetings (shareholder meetings), which are being held from the 25 to 29 June.

109 groups and 2,470 individuals from all over the world signed the petition. A full list of groups who endorsed this petition is provided at the bottom of this release.

The petition called specifically called for the following:
As a responsible leader in the financial world, work for the creation of a sustainable society and the development of a fossil fuel phase-out strategy starting with coal, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Stop using loopholes to support the export of coal-fired power plants, and change your policies to invest in energy efficiency and decentralized deforestation-free renewable power generation that will support the future benefit of recipient countries.

Takayoshi Yokoyama, Representative of 350.org Japan said “3 mega banks that signed onto the UN Principles for Responsible Banking have promised to establish strategies which are aligned with the Paris Agreement. As our economy recovers from the adverse impacts of COVID-19, these banks should take leadership to shift their investments and loans towards a sustainable, decarbonized society. It is my sincere hope that management of the banks will announce strong commitments to strengthen policies to contribute solutions towards the climate crisis.”

Ayumi Fukakusa, Climate and Energy Campaigner of FoE Japan commented ”The 3 mega banks still keep financing coal fired power projects these years. They are currently deciding whether to finance the Vung Ang 2 coal fired power project in Vietnam. The construction of a new coal-fired power plant not only accelerates climate change, but also brings environmental pollution such as air pollution to the site. In addition, a Korean government think-tank found “negative profitability” for this project. There is no justification for the banks to finance the project.”

Yuki Tanabe, Program Director of Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society added “The policies of these 3 mega banks fail to stop the Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power project which is expected to be the last coal deal for the Japanese banks, and do not have an actual meaning. In addition, while overseas banks have established policies to regulate financing for coal developers, the scope of Japanese banks’ policies are still limited to coal projects, thus their policies should be improved.”

Yann Lauvel, Political Analyst at Reclaim Finance said “It is now time for Japanese banks to completely stop the direct financing of new coal plants globally, with no exceptions, and move to the next stage of what a bank coal policy must address: corporate finance. Big Japanese banks must follow many of their European peers and exclude coal companies from their activities, starting with coal developers, those companies still planning to expand the coal industry despite the climate and health emergencies we now face, more than ever.”

Related Links

  • Petition text:
    https://350jp.org/agms-organization-petition/
  • Short movies with messages to the 3 megabanks (by 350 Japan):
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HngAbU5BNAscSu2x-8fv0U7yukPQpf8b?usp=sharing
  • Photos with messages to the 3 megabanks (by 350 Japan):
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cPnIqb5ZBA6X-1l-hMgFmE5nttJoC19D?usp=sharing
  • Climate related shareholder’s proposal (by Kikonetwork):
    https://www.kikonet.org/press-release-en/2020-06-15/Final_investor_briefing_Mizuho
  • International Petition: Japan Must Not Support Vung Ang 2 Coal Power Plant in Vietnam:
    https://www.nocoaljapan.org/japan-must-not-support-vung-ang2-vietnam-international-petition/
  • “Negative profitability” found for planned Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power plant in Vietnam by Korean government think tank: https://www.nocoaljapan.org/vungang2_showed_negative_profitability/

Organizing Groups

350.org Japan
Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)
Fair Finance Guide Japan
Kiko Network
Friends of the Earth Japan
Mekong Watch
Greenpeace Japan
Rainforest Action Network
Reclaim Finance

Contact

350.org
Email: patricia.mallam@350.org

Full text PDF with name list of signed groups

Japanese and International Civil Society Urge Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui for a Complete Coal Phase-out
109 Groups and 2470 Individuals Signed the Petition (PDF)