Activists demand stop to Japan-funded coal plant in climate-vulnerable Bangladesh

(Reuters, 1 Feb 2022) Young campaigners say coal-fired power plant will undermine global climate goals and harm local communities - and goes against Japan's promise to end financing for coal overseas.

Japan should stop funding the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh as the emissions it produces will accelerate global warming and put the low-lying country at greater risk of climate-change impacts, youth activists said on Friday.

Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp, along with Toshiba and IHI Corporation, is building the Matarbari power plant in Maheshkhali near the southeastern coastal town of Cox's Bazar, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Climate campaigners said the project contradicts Japan's commitment, made with other wealthy G7 nations last May, to end funding for "unabated" coal power overseas by the end of 2021.

Coal is considered unabated when it is burned for power or heat without using technology to capture the resulting emissions, a system not yet widely used in power generation.

The power plant under construction at Cox's Bazar, along the world's longest beach, puts the lives and livelihoods of locals at risk and will add to broader climate woes, activists said.

Bangladeshi officials said all possible measures were being taken to reduce the negative consequences of the fossil-fuel power plant.

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Reuters, 1 Feb 2022: Activists demand stop to Japan-funded coal plant in climate-vulnerable Bangladesh