Exclusive: Japan uses ‘environmental’ fund to finance Vietnamese coal plant

(Climate Home News, 19 Jan 2021) A Japanese state-owned bank is using a green fund to finance a Vietnamese coal power plant, sparking accusations of “egregious greenwashing”.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) announced last month it would invest $636 million in the controversial Vung Ang 2 project, through its Growth Investment Facility.

In response to questions from opposition lawmaker Mizuho Fukushima, seen by Climate Home News, the finance ministry revealed the loan came from a part of the facility targeted at “environmental preservation”.

Launching the facility in May 2018, Japanese finance minister Taro Aso told a meeting of Asian Development Bank governors it would “provide support for a variety of infrastructure projects that contribute to environmental preservation” like public transport and wind power.

However, the bank’s press releases show the “development of quality infrastructure for environmental preservation and sustainable growth” (QI-ESG) fund has supported five gas-fired power projects, compared to two in wind power and one in solar panel manufacturing. A total of 220 billion yen ($2bn) had been allocated to 11 projects as of November 2020, the finance ministry told Fukushima.

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Climate Home News, 19 Jan 2021: Exclusive: Japan uses ‘environmental’ fund to finance Vietnamese coal plant