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JAPANESE financial institutions are finally responding to calls for higher environmental standards and responsiveness to the need for climate action. More than a week ago, Dai-ichi Life Insurance made a historic decision to stop financing coal-fired power plants overseas, making it the first Japanese financial institution to adopt this policy. At around the same time, the Finance Planning Director of Nippon Life Insurance said in an interview that they are considering not to put in new investments for coal-fired power generation projects. More recently, Takeshi Kunebi, President of the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, announced that they are considering stricter policies on financing coal-fired power plants.

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Leading international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have joined calls to end inequality, and with their resources and influence, seek to shape the discourse.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund - A Past and a Present of Contributing to Poverty and Inequality

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NEWS of recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and the US were hard to ignore. They were on every TV screen and in all of my news-feeds.

Hurricane Irma this September was one of the most powerful storms in recorded history in the Atlantic. Immediately before that was Hurricane Harvey. The devastating impacts of these hurricanes hit me deeply, as I watched the scenes of entire communities being uprooted, as I heard from my brother and other relatives in Texas and Florida that they have lost their homes.

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SONGDO, SOUTH KOREA – Just before the meeting started, our CSO colleagues had an action outside of the G-Tower (BM venue) calling for the rejection of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (MUFJ)’s applications to the GCF. Both have a track record of funding coal projects, hence we want them out of the GCF. The Board is scheduled to decide on this matter tomorrow, so we encourage everyone who are not in Songdo to tweet away and use #GCFund (apparently BMs are twitter savvy and are quite sensitive to what we say about them, especially when it comes to their looks.

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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.)