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Japanese bank JBIC urged to say ‘Sayonara to fossil fuels’

Climate advocates rallied in front of the Japanese Embassy in Manila to urge the government of Japan to implement the total phase-out of public financing for fossil fuel projects which is “causing the imminent catastrophe that is staring humanity in the face, by way of record-breaking heat, floods and other calamities.”

The activists belonging to the regional alliance Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) particularly called out the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for being the culprit, as the export arm of the Japanese government, it is “Southeast Asia’s biggest Japanese fossil fuel lender,” with investments in gas projects valued at around USD 3.3 billion.

APMDD rallyists timed their action to coincide with the upcoming G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment which will be held in Piemonte, Italy from April 28 to 30.

Japan is a member of the powerful G7, along with the US, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy.

The climate advocates remarked that JBIC’s “trail of gas financing all over the world” violates the commitments made by G7 in its 2022 and 2023 summits for the powerful bloc to end public support for the fossil fuel sector.

“Japan cannot continue its long and dirty path leading Asia towards climate collapse. JBIC has been strangling communities in the Global South with its gas plants. We must reject Japanese financing of fossil fuels.” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of APMDD.

According to estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), all fossil fuel infrastructure – whether existing or still being planned – are expected to emit enough carbon dioxide to cause global temperature to rise over 1.5°C.

Recognizing this, the International Energy Agency (IEA) declared in 2023 that there should be no new fossil fuel extraction projects if the goal of attaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is to be achieved.

JBIC and Osaka Gas have invested in the parent company of the operator of the Ilijan LNG import terminal in Batangas, with environmentalists voicing concern about the project’s impact on the rich marine ecosystem of the Verde Island Passage.

Last March, JBIC announced its partnership with the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) for investments in the Scarborough gas field development project being planned off the northwest coast of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

In the same month, JBIC co-financed with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. a loan of US$560 million to a major supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) based in Singapore.

Also last March, JBIC firmed up its collaboration with Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) to support two gas-fired combined cycle power generation projects in San Luis Potosi and Salamanca, Mexico JBIC also has a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation for the Cameron LNG project in Louisiana, USA. (APMDD/PR)

Photo courtesy of Mata: Asia Press Photo

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