MANILA, June 25, 2019 — Climate activists from 350.org today suited up in inflatable Pikachu costumes and paraded across the Japanese Embassy to challenge Japan to stop financing coal as it prepares to host the Group of 20 leaders’ summit.
“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on the world’s biggest economies to tackle climate change this year while Japan chairs the G20. Pokemon’s enduring popularity stands as proof of Japan’s capacity for technology, innovation and creativity, which is why we believe the country can evolve into a world leader in climate action and renewable energy,” said Norly Grace Mercado, Asia Regional Director of 350.org.
Japan is currently the second biggest public funder of coal worldwide  and continues to provide cover for their private banks and the major loopholes in their coal pledges, Mercado added.
Japanese coal investments in the Philippines include Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho’s lending for the Masinloc coal-fired power plant acquisitions by San Miguel Corporation (SMC); Mizuho’s funding of SMC’s coal plant in Limay, Bataan; and the Ayala GNPower coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan. Marubeni Corporation is also financing the proposed expansion of coal power projects in Pagbilao, Quezon and Calaca, Batangas .
350.org noted that Japan’s climate pledge is widely seen as highly insufficient  to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as set out in the Paris Agreement. It also remains the biggest global coal importer among the G20  despite rapidly falling prices of renewable energy and advances in technology.
“If Japan wants to become a climate leader instead of a laggard, then its government must definitively phase out coal domestically and overseas, and ramp up its investments in renewable energy,” Mercado said.
Other civil society groups have also organized similar actions across Asia to call on the G20 to respond with both urgency and ambition to the climate crisis.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
 Climate Transparency: G20 report, May 2019
 Climate Action Tracker: Japan, June 2019
ABOUT: 350.org is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice. 350.org Pilipinas is a local network of volunteers supporting the country’s climate movement.