Asia-wide protests resist Japan and G7’s push for gas and false solutions in the region

Climate campaigners held rallies in 12 cities this week to protest against Japan and the G7’s continued promotion of fossil gas and technologies that they say will only prolong fossil fuel use. The protests happened ahead of the G7 Leaders Summit scheduled on May 19-21 in Hiroshima, Japan. 

“Japan and the rest of the G7 display a blatant disregard for the pressing needs of both people and the planet, instead of meeting their climate finance obligations and fulfilling their commitment to end by 2022 their public financing of fossil fuels,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and Convenor of the Asian Energy Network (AEN) 

Japan is this year’s G7 president and the only Asian member of the grouping of seven of the world’s advanced economies, including Canada, Italy, Germany, France, United Kingdom and United States, all large fossil fuel financiers.

The protests were held in Dhaka, Kolkata, Bodhgaya, Chhattisgarh, Jakarta, Chiang Mai, Kathmandu, Lahore, Manila, Colombo, Hanoi and Hiroshima as part of the coordinated Asia-wide mobilizations against Japan and the G7. The mobilization in front of the Japanese embassy in Manila is organized by the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and member organizations, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Sanlakas, Oriang, Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA), and Kabuhayan Kalusugan Kalikasan Katiyakan Sa Paninirahan (K4K QC).

“A swift, equitable, and just transition to renewable energy systems is urgently required, yet the G7’s actions are causing continued suffering in Asian communities as a result of gas projects that have been promoted and financed by Japan, other G7 nations, and the Global North over several decades,” added Nacpil.

The rallies called out the government of Japan for being among the world’s leading fossil fuel investors. They also called out the government’s lackluster stance towards phasing-out fossil fuels and its insistence of promoting fossil gas and false solutions, like hydrogen and ammonia technology. 

Japan is the largest public fossil fuel financier, with an annual average of USD 10.6 billion towards fossil fuel projects from 2019 to 2021 according to a report. There has been some recent tension between Japan who wants to push back on gas and fossil derivatives, and other G7 members who want to decrease their carbon emissions and phase out fossil fuel technologies. 

The recent communique from the G7 energy and climate ministers meeting last April affirmed their commitments in aligning with the Paris Agreement set 2015. The ministers agreed to drastically increase solar capacity and offshore wind. However, they did not set a timeline for a gas phase out and welcomed investments in gas subject to conditions. Technologies such as hydrogen and ammonia were also accepted as technologies that can help with the decarbonization process. 

Japan’s “Green Transformation” policy is a massive investment strategy that promotes LNG, Hydrogen, Ammonia and includes plans to export these plants in Asian countries. Hydrogen and ammonia technology can emit greenhouse gasses and is expensive to produce relative to renewable energy sources. Japan also aims to use ammonia to fire coal plants, furthering the lifespan of fossil fuel plants, contrary to the report of the International Energy Agency that states no new gas fields or liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure should be developed or needed in a scenario that limits global warming to 1.5°C.

Analysis finds that the current and planned expansion of LNG would increase emissions in 2030 to dangerous levels. Research also shows the use of fossil gas for electricity generation, heating in buildings, and industry contributed almost as much as coal power to premature deaths in 96 cities around the world in 2020. The largest component of fossil gas is methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in terms of how much it contributes to global warming. 

Renewables-based electricity is now the cheapest power option in most regions. According to research, renewables are already the default option for capacity additions in the power sector in almost all countries and dominate current investments. Renewables are also the most readily-available and cost-effective way to provide 90 per cent of all decarbonisation by 2050 – that is, if currently installed renewable power capacity will be tripled by 2030.


“The so-called developed countries especially G7 and Japan continue to show disregard to climate goals by consistently funding fossil fuel projects in third world especially Pakistan. That is why we demand climate reparations, because the climate change in our region is driven majorly by such dirty investments. We demand from Japan and G7 countries to immediately stop funding such projects and increase their investments in renewable sources of energy.”

Farooq Tariq, General Secretary, Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee

“As the host for this year’s G20 Summit, India has a deep responsibility of steering this powerful body of countries towards a cleaner future. Japan should not be allowed to interfere and use the G7 to derail the world by promoting false solutions! We also reject the notion that the new Indo-Pacific strategy will be used to export fossil gas, non-renewable hydrogen and ammonia in the region. This new kind of energy colonialism does not have a place in the equitable future for Asia.”

Saktiman Ghosh, General Secretary, National Hawker Federation, India

“NO to LNG & strongly rejecting any kind of Finance in Fossil fuel project in ASIA. We demand a Climate safe future in the Globe. Let us join to create a better EARTH.”

Gautam B, Nadi Ghati Morcha, India

The leadership of the G7 and the G20 have the mandate and more importantly, the responsibility to urgently take action to arrest temperature rise and the impacts of the climate crisis. The hope and aspirations of millions in the global south are now anchored with them. We are holding this mobilisation in Bodhgaya, an important spiritual node for many Japanese, so they can carry this clarion call to their government and the other G7 leaders that all excuses have run out, fossil fuel investments need to stop NOW.”

Vidya Dinker, President, Indian Social Action Forum, India

“Japanese corporations are peddling false solutions through the use of ammonia co-firing  for effective emission reduction. Ammonia co-firing would only prolong the life of a dirty and dangerous plant.  Indonesia has become a testing ground for Japan’s dirty fossil-based technologies. It would not help Indonesia achieve carbon neutrality.”

Fanny Tri Jambore, Campaigner on Energy and Mining Issues- WALHI, Indonesia

“The government of Bangladesh should stop its reliance on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to meet  its energy demands. It would just derail and disrupt the process of transition to clean energy. Japan and the G7 countries should end all financing of LNG and related infrastructure domestically and overseas.”

Sharif Jamil, Coordinator, Waterkeepers Bangladesh, Bangladesh

“Japan and the G7’s insistence on fossil gas is dangerous to say the least for the communities in the Philippines. Recently, we have seen that the JBIC-funded energy project in Batangas is already causing severe harm in the region before construction has even been finished. Investments in false solutions are just a diversion that furthers us from what we need to enable the clean energy transition.”

Ian Rivera, President of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Philippines

“The world stands at a critical juncture, whether to do nothing and let the planet succumb to the climate crisis, or to embrace renewable energy and have a chance at attaining a fossil-free future. World leaders have been reluctant to fully embrace it in the past, but we cannot afford any more hesitation. Only through the rapid, just and equitable shift towards renewable energy can we see a future out of the climate crisis.”

Abhishek Shrestha, Program Director, Digo Bikas Institute, Nepal

“Japan’s argument for fossil fuel expansion as a “realistic” way in decarbonization in a renewable-energy-scarce Asia is wrong. Japan’s decarbonization strategy which it aims to export around Asia goes against economic, financial and climate arguments against fossil fuels. Furthermore, this move isolates Japan and exposes itself to worldwide criticism, which could be observed in all the worldwide civil actions held this week.”

Hiroki Osada, Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Japan, Japan

“Any new fossil fuel plants should not be tolerated! We continuously condemn the planned LNG plant that Japan is planning to put up in Sri Lanka in future.  Japan should recognize that there is no valid excuse for continuing funding for fossil gas and that the implementation towards renewable energy should be accelerated so the world may have a chance to attain the 1.5 target.”

Dilena Pathragoda, Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice, Sri Lanka

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