“Climate disasters and skyrocketing fuel prices have made the need to ‘end our global addiction to fossil fuels’ crystal clear,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
As one of the world’s wealthiest nations and top 10 largest contributors to the climate crisis, Japan has a responsibility to end its support for fossil fuels and to help countries transition to clean energy.
Instead, Japan is spending over $10 billion each year to develop new fossil fuel projects internationally and is promoting false solutions to address the climate crisis that will extend the life of fossil fuels far into the future. Japan’s efforts are fueling the climate crisis, worsening issues with energy security and wasting valuable time.
The climate crisis is an urgent issue. Heavy rains this year caused devastating damage to Pakistan, with one third of the country submerged underwater. Super Typhoon Noru hit the Philippines forcing thousands to flee. Forest fires are worsening, driving people from their homes and devastating ecosystems. Residents in Japan are increasingly suffering from heatwaves, strong typhoons and heavy rains.
To mitigate the climate crisis, we must end our dependence on fossil fuels.
But Japan is headed in the wrong direction. The Japanese government has not taken concrete steps to phase out coal and is promoting “false solutions” for decarbonization which will prolong the use of fossil fuels. This includes LNG and co-firing coal with hydrogen and ammonia. These technologies will delay decarbonization efforts and worsen the climate crisis.
The IEA has acknowledged that the current energy crisis is exacerbated by the transition to clean energy moving too slowly. Japan’s continued support for fossil-based technologies is a big part of the problem.
In Bangladesh, people are suffering from rolling blackouts that are likely to continue for the next three years because of the country’s overreliance on risky imported LNG. With European buyers paying premiums for LNG cargoes, Bangladesh has been priced out of the LNG spot markets. Overloaded transmission lines failed in early October, causing the worst blackouts since 2014 with power cut to half of the country causing problems for hospitals, road ways and internet. Japan has drafted the new power sector master plan for Bangladesh, but this plan relies heavily on fossil fuels and false solutions. This would only worsen the situation.
On November 1, civil society groups launched a petition urging Japan to stop backing fossil fuels and other false solutions. Leading up to the COP27 taking place in Egypt, Japan must show its real commitment and climate action. Climate change is a matter of urgency. We urge the Government of Japan to stop financing fossil fuels and promoting false solutions and instead shift finance towards clean energy that meets the needs of communities, consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement