June 22, 2018

Japanese banks Mizuho and Marubeni pressed to cease coal financing

By Asian Peoples Movement on Debt & Development

Manila, Philippines –Members of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), the women’s group Oriang,and Sanlakas are holding protest actions today in front of the Makati offices of Mizuho Bank Ltd. and Marubeni Corp. as shareholders of these institutions respectively hold their regular meeting in Japan.  The groups are demanding that both Japanese companies cease financing of new coal projects.

“Financiers of coal projects, the dirtiest among the fossil fuels that largely cause climate change, must be taken to task for their critical roles in climate change. In particular, Japanese banks and corporations like Mizuho and Marubeni must heed the world-wide clamor to put an end to coal energy,” said Lidy Nacpil of APMDD.

“Climate change-related disasters are becoming more severe and more frequent, devastating cities and communities in many parts of the world. Developing countries like the Philippines suffer harshly from the onslaught of disasters. People’s livelihoods and support systems are washed away by powerful storms and typhoons,” added Ian Rivera, PMCJ Coordinator.

Oriang Spokesperson Flores Zacate stressed that women are even more vulnerable to climate change impacts as they bear the multiple burdens of earning a living as well as carrying out traditional roles of  house work and caring for the young and elderly members of their family. “We cannot continue to live in risky situations and worsening threats to the survival and security of our families. The expansion of the coal industry must stop and coal projects must be phased out as soon as possible”,  she said.

According to APMDD Coordinator Lidy Nacpil, the Mizuho Financial Group is one of the major financiers of coal projects in Asia. It is involved in the financing of the 2,000-megawatt Batang Project in Java, Indonesia – Southeast Asia’s largest coal-fired power plant. “The project represents a dangerously misguided push for coal power that will further push Indonesia and the rest of the world towards the catastrophic path of climate change.”

Ian Rivera said that Mizuho supported two coal power plants in the Philippines-  the San Miguel Corporation Coal Plant in Limay, Bataan and the Ayala GNPower Coal Plant in Mariveles, Bataan.  It also supported the acquisition of the AES Masinloc by the San Miguel Corporation, which owns the proposed Masinloc Expansion Project in Zambales.

The Marubeni Corporations also among the top Asian investors in coal projects, according to Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas.  He said that Marubeni supported the Sual Coal Plant in Pangasinan and is financing the proposed expansion of the same plant.  It also supported the coal plant in Pagbilao, Quezon and is financing a new coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas with a stake of $80 to 85 million. “Three years since the 2015 Paris Agreement when nearly 200 nations pledged to limit global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, Marubeni and others disappointingly continue to fund dirty energy, specifically coal,” Pedrosa lamented.

“The 1.5 degrees threshold is not just a number. It represents the fate of the 7.6 billion world population and the earth’s eco-system. Achieving or failing to achieve the 1.5 degrees mark will determine who will survive, how many islands will sink, who and how many will have food and shelter, what new diseases will threaten life,” Lidy Nacpil explained.

“Scientists have agreed and asserted that in order to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees, the world must fully de-carbonize not later than 2050.  This means we must complete the shift to 100% renewable energy way before 2050. This is a huge transformation but we have no time to lose. Financing of new coal and fossil fuels must stop now.  There must be a swift phase out of all existing coal and fossil fuel projects”, Lidy Nacpil concluded.