Japan is exporting the most polluting kind of coal power to developing Asia

(Eco Business, 20 Aug 2019) Coal colonialism: Japanese-financed coal power plants in developing Asia emit up to 40 times more pollution than plants built in Japan, a study by Greenpeace has found.

Japan is financing coal-fired power plants in developing Asia that are up to 40 times more polluting than facilities built on home soil, and could cause more than 400,000 people to die prematurely in countries already suffering from bad air quality.

Japan-financed coal plants in countries including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh emit up to 13 times more nitrogen oxide, 33 times more sulphur dioxide (SO2), and 40 times more dust than those built in Japan, according to a new report, A Deadly Double Standard, released on Tuesday by non-government organisation (NGO) Greenpeace.

Japan’s public finance agencies pumped US$16.7 billion into coal projects in countries with low emissions standards between January 2013 and May 2019, which Greenpeace estimates could cause between 148,000 and 410,000 premature deaths.

India—already home to the world’s filthiest air—will suffer the most from Japan’s coal exports due to long-term exposure to fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution, followed by Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. An estimated 160,000 people in the sub-continent could die prematurely due to Japanese investments, said Greenpeace. 

The public finance agencies named in the report were the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and Japan International Cooperation Agency. For certain projects, there was also additional financing from Japan’s three largest private banks: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the NGO added.

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Eco Business, 20 Aug 2019: Japan is exporting the most polluting kind of coal power to developing Asia