CSOs Open Letter to the Green Climate Fund Board

We, organizations and movements from Asia, view with grave concern the applications submitted by the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to be Accredited Entities of the Green Climate Fund.

BTMU and JICA are among the most actively and heavily involved financial institutions in the financing of fossil fuels, particularly coal. They have left a trail of dirty energy funding too long and too wide to include here, but which stretches across several Asian countries. (Please see attached Factsheet.)

We urge the GCF Board to consider the information attached as basis for denying approval of the applications for accreditation by BTMU and JICA whose actions concretely and completely run counter to the mandate and mission of the GCF.

We further express our solidarity with Japanese civil society organizations that have expressed the same sentiment and provided information to enjoin the GCF Board to disapprove BTMU and JICA’s application as Accredited Entities of the Fund.

Lastly, we recommend that the Board require all applicants seeking to be Accredited Entities of the GCF to fully disclose their past, present and intended investments and financing of fossil fuel projects; and that significant involvement in fossil fuel projects should disqualify at the outset those seeking accreditation from the GCF.

Signatories:

  • Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)
  • Adivasi Mulvasi Astitva Raksha manch – India
  • AKSI – Indonesia
  • Alliance for Tax and Fiscal Justice – Nepal
  • All Nepal Peasant's Federation (ANPFa) – Nepal
  • All Nepal Peasants Federation – Nepal
  • All Nepal Women's Association – Nepal
  • ARENA – Asia/Regional
  • Bangladesh Krishok Federation – Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh Jatiyo Sramik Jote – Bangladesh
  • Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP/Workers Solidarity) – Philippines
  • Bulig Visayas – Philippines
  • Campaign for Climate Justice – Nepal
  • Center for Energy Ecology for Development (CEED) – Philippines
  • Center for Environmental Justice, CEJ/Friends of the Earth – Sri Lanka
  • Climate Watch – Thailand
  • Community Development Library (CDL-Bangladesh)
  • Debt Watch – Indonesia
  • Environics Trust – India
  • EquityBD – Bangladesh
  • Focus on the Global South – Asia/Regional
  • Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) – Philippines
  • GEFONT – Nepal
  • Gitib – Philippines
  • Himalaya Niti Abhiyan – India
  • Human Rights Alliance – Nepal
  • Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF) – India
  • Institute for Essential Services Reforms (IESR) – Indonesia
  • Jagaran – Nepal
  • Jatam – Indonesia
  • Kalayaan-Pilipinas – Philippines
  • Kerala Independent Fishworkers Federation – India
  • Koalisi Anti Utang – Indonesia
  • Koalisyong ng Pabahay ng Piipinas (KPP) – Philippines
  • KRUHA – Peoples Right to Water Coalition – Indonesia
  • LDC Watch – Global
  • Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)
  • Mines, minerals and People (mmP) – India
  • Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation – Malaysia
  • Nadi Gati Morcha – India
  • National Alliance Right to Food Networks – Nepal
  • National Federation of Hawkers – Bangladesh
  • National Federation of Hawkers – India
  • National Federation of Women Hawkers – India
  • National Women Peasants Association – Nepal
  • Nepal Youth Peasants Association – Nepal
  • Our Rivers Our Life – Philippines
  • Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) – Pakistan
  • Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee – Pakistan
  • Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) – Philippines
  • River Basin Friends – India
  • Rural Reconstruction – Nepal
  • Sanlakas – Philippines
  • Sawit Watch – Indonesia
  • SEAFISH for Justice – SEA/Regional
  • Solidaritas Perempuan (Women) – Indonesia
  • South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) – SA/Regional
  • South Asia Food Sovereignty Network – SA/Regional
  • South Asia Peasants Coalition – SA/Regional
  • SUPRO – Bangladesh
  • Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) – Philippines
  • Trade Union Policy Institute (TUPI) – Nepal
  • Unnayan Onneshan – Bangladesh
  • VOICE – Bangladesh
  • Youth for Climate Justice (Y4CJ) – Philippines
An Open Letter to the Board of the Green Climate Fund on the Application for Accreditation by the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. and the Japan International Cooperation Agency
5 July 2017

FACTSHEET on BTMU and JICA’s fossil fuel-tainted involvements

Indonesia

BTMU plays an active role in co-financing construction of coal power plants. Only five months ago, a loan agreement was signed for the further expansion of the Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant in Central Java. BTMU is one of the project funders, raising together with other Japanese banks, total co-financing in the amount of US$3,355 million.

The previous year, BTMU co-financed a $3.4 billion loan to resume construction of the 2,000-MW Batang coal power project, also in Central Java, after years of delay. Upon completion in 2020, this will be the biggest coal-fired power plant in Indonesia.

BTMU again figures among the Japanese banks projected to finance the planned expansion of the 1,000-MW Cirebon 2 coal-fired power project in West Java, adjacent to Cirebon 1.

For its part, JICA is poised to support the expansion of the Indramayu coal power plant in West Java to 1,000-MW despite villagers’ reports of land grabs, lack of consultation in the Environmental Assessment process and questionable compensation measures. This is to be built adjacent to the existing coal-fired power that has brought pollution, caused land grabs, inflicted environmental damage, and compromised livelihoods of villagers residing nearby.

There has been no formal response to repeated appeals and objection letters sent by the community to JBIC, BTMU and other Japanese commercial banks involved in the expansion project. As stressed by affected residents in a letter to JICA last March 23, funding this project is “a fatal violation of the JICA environmental and social guidelines, which require ‘appropriate participation by affected people in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of resettlement action plans’ and ‘the disclosure of resettlement action plans’.”

Vietnam

BTMU recently signed financing agreements for the construction of several coal fired power plants. One of these is the expansion of the Vinh Tan 4 coal-fired thermal power plant in Binh Thuan province, for which BTMU contributed a loan of $136 million. Along with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), it also extended funds to the national project developer Vietnam Electricity to purchase the main equipment from the Mitsubishi and Toshiba corporations.

The original plan entailed building two 600-MW coal-fired thermal power plants alongside existing plants in the area. But the expansion announced in 2015, added another 600 MW for a total of 1800 MW. Up to 2.8 Mt (million tonnes) of coal will be used by Vinh Tan 4.

Philippines

In October 2016, BTMU and other banks signed a loan agreement with Aboitiz Power Corp. for the purchase of the Blackstone Group LP’s partnership interests in the 650-MW GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant and the 1200 MW GNPower Dinginin Expansion Project, both in Bataan province.

This is only the latest in BTMU’s consistent financing of coal projects. Through Security Bank, in which BTMU has a 20% equity stake, it has helped bankroll the 300-MW Masinloc Expansion Project in Zambales province; the 1,218-MW coal-fired Sual power plant located in Pangasinan province; the 735-MW coal-fired Pagbilao power plant in Quezon province and a 420-MW expansion plant in the same area (Pagbilao 3).

JICA’s reputation for supporting dirty energy in the county has been well-established even earlier. From 1992 to 2000, it disbursed at least ¥19,776 million for the Calaca coal-fired thermal power plant in Batangas province, including its expansion.

Bangladesh

JICA is involved in shaping the very master plan for power systems in the country, reportedly suggesting to supply 13-22% of total coal demand from local deposits. Specifically, it proposed extracting coal from the Phulbari deposit through open pit mining, and from other deposits in Dinajpur and Rangpur using underground methods. JICA submitted the report last June 18 in a meeting of a government steering committee to finalise the Power System Master Plan 2016 for the development of the country’s power sector until 2041.

NGOs, communities and scientists have long opposed open pit mining in Phulbari and other sites for the destruction to the underground water aquifer, biodiversity and agriculture of the region that it will bring. Three protesters were killed and many others injured at a demonstration in the Phulbari coal field in 2006.

India

The state-owned National Thermal Power Corp. Ltd. (NTPC Ltd) runs 20 coal-based power stations, and is the largest thermal power generating company in the country. Thus far, it has received about ¥25.8 billion in loans from JICA and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Last year, the Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal reported from meetings with Japanese institutions of their high interest in financing coal-based thermal power plants. BTMU and JICA were among these institutions, together with other Japanese banks and investment agencies.

JICA, channelling Japan’s subsidies for fossil fuel production

JICA counts among the major Japanese institutions facilitating and disbursing fossil fuel-linked loan financing to borrowing countries. From 2013 – 2014 alone, US$38 billion in public finance for fossil fuel production was provided through financing by JICA, JBIC, the Development Bank of Japan and several other Japanese entities (Oil Change International and the Overseas Development Institute).


[This article is also published on APMDD’s FB page.]