Divest Marubeni, Divest Coal!

This page was created to share information on the global “Marubeni Campaign” calling for divestment from Marubeni Corporation (abbreviated below as “Marubeni”) until it is out of the climate-threatening coal power business.

Photo: ©CASA at COP24

Photo: ©CASA at COP24







Coal and Marubeni

The only Japanese trading house listed on the “Global Coal Exit List”

Among the major Japanese trading houses, Marubeni far surpasses others as the biggest player in the power generation business, being actively involved in coal extraction and transport infrastructure around the world, as well as the construction and operation of coal-fired power plants. The magnitude of its coal activities have earned Marubeni a prominent spot on the Coal Plant Developers List of 120 coal-related companies (published by Urgewald, updated in October 2018). While the global civil movement for decarbonization calls for efforts to achieve emission reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement, Marubeni finds itself in the spotlight for going in the opposite direction as it continues to build more coal-fired power plants.

Global Coal Exit List:Published by the German NGO Urgewald, this is an extensive database that lists all the major companies in the coal industry. Marubeni and major Japanese power utilities are listed as possible divestment targets.

Marubeni is still building coal power plants

Marubeni is involved in over 100 GW worth of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) power-related projects around the world, of which coal-fired power plants account for 40 GW. Marubeni is also engaged in many Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects and developing new coal-fired power plants in nine countries.

Marubeni’s problematic projects

Several coal-fired power plant projects in which Marubeni participates have triggered serious problems, including significant impacts on the environment and local communities, and lawsuits have been launched to fight some of them. As projects have been delayed by local community opposition, some leading banks and investors have started to divest from Marubeni.
Information on several of these projects is available in facts sheets (download from links below).

Countries Location Plant name Capacity Status Plan to operate
1 Indonesia West Java Cirebon 1 660 MW Operating 2012
Cirebon 2 1000 MW Under construction 2022
2 Philippine Pagbilao, Quezin Pagbilao 3 420 MW Operating 2018
3 South Africa Thabametsi (Grootegeluk) Thabametsi (Grootegeluk) 630 MW Planning 2021
4 Botswana Palapye Morupule B
(Phase II, Units 5 & 6)
300 MW Planning 2020
5 Vietnam Thanh Hoa Nghi Son 2 600 MW
(2 units)
Under construction
6 Japan Akita Akita Port (Units 1 & 2) 1300 MW Planning 2024

**Note: Construction at Nghi Son 2 is behind schedule so the projected operation has been delayed.


Summary sheet: “Why Marubeni: Why and how investors should divest from and/or exclude Marubeni”
Fact sheets: 1. Cirebon (Indonesia), 2. Pagbilao (Philippines), 3. Thabametsi (South Africa), 4. Morupule B (Botswana), 5. Nghi Son 2 (Vietnam), 6. Akita Port (Japan)


Marubeni’s new coal policy

On September 18, 2018, Marubeni announced new policies regarding its coal-fired power generation and renewable energy businesses. The company said it would no longer build “new” coal-fired power plants, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its power generation portfolio, and by 2030 would cut in half coal-fired net generation capacity of approximately 3 GW in FY2018. Unfortunately, closer examination shows that Marubeni has no intention to stop or cancel planned or current projects. That means the reduction schedule is not proactive but rather simply depends on attrition, waiting for existing contracts to end. What this means is that Marubeni’s policies are significantly out of step with the targets of the Paris Agreement.
In its own interest as well, Marubeni needs to be more aggressive in its emission reduction measures to avoid being exposed to substantial risks from stranded assets.

To decarbonize: Divest from Marubeni!

Based on its new policy, Marubeni articulated a vision to reduce its capacity of coal-fired power generation and expand renewable energy. Already Marubeni is involved in photovoltaic and offshore wind power projects, but if it stays on its current path without a more aggressive exit from coal, it will face the increased risk of divestment by banks and investors.

To date, our campaign has submitted the following documents to Marubeni, including a joint letter on December 13, 2018 denouncing the shortcomings of Marubeni’s new policies.

  • Open Letter to Marubeni Corporation Fix your loophole-filled new decarbonization policies (PDF) 2018/12/13
  • Marubeni’s Announcement on Pulling Out of Coal-Power: A Significant Step Forward, but Need to Close Loopholes to Meet Paris Goal (PDF)  2018/9/18
  • Press Release: Groups call for divestment from Marubeni Corporation, a major global supporter of coal-fired power plant construction (PDF) 2018/7/31

Other organizations also submit statements of claim or letters to Marubeni.

  • 350.org (Africa) submitted the letter to Marubeni to request an update or a summarised report on the current status of the proposed Thabametsi coal fired-power station on April 11, 2019.(PDF)
  • Rapel (Rakyat Penyelamat Lingkungan: People Environment Safer) Cirebon and WALHI West Java submitted the statement of claim to stop the Cirebon Coal-fired Power Plant Project in Indonesia, on March 26, 2019. “Re: Ongoing Serious Impact on the Community and Our Continuous Demand to Stop the Cirebon Coal-fired Power Plant Project – Unit 1 and Unit 2 in West Java, Indonesia” (Original had signed by the leaders of Rapel Cirebon and the director of WALHI West Java.)(PDF)

Following lists are Marubeni related documents and papers issued by international organizations.

  • Press Release: IEEFA Japan, Marubeni’s coal exit announcement a good first step but increased commitment needed (March 12, 2019)
    (IEEFA Briefing Note) Briefing Note: Marubeni Update Continuing Coal-fired Power Risks
  • Press Release:  New IEEFA Report  Coal-exposed Marubeni must embrace global renewable shift, July 2018.
    (IEEFA Report) Marubeni’s Coal Problem A Japanese Multinational’s Power Business Is at Risk
  • Urgewald report: The 2018 Coal Plant Pipeline –  A Global Tour (PDF), October 2018

Working with local and international NGOs, our “Divest Marubeni” campaign will continue calling on Marubeni to stop and/or cancel coal projects at whatever stage they may be, whether under planning or construction, and to take proactive action in order to stop the operation of existing plants in order to be consistent with the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Left: Action at COP24, Right: Action at Philippine