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Japan: Stop funding coal in Vietnam

Van Phong 1 is a coal power project in Ninh Phước commune, Ninh Hòa township, Khánh Hòa province in Vietnam being considered for funding funded by Japanese banks and export credit agencies, like the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

We need to remind Japan’s financial institutions to advance the best interests of people and ecosystems by immediately stopping their funding for the Van Phong 1 coal project.

Numerous studies have already established that the negative impacts of coal power generation that harms both communities and ecosystems, as well as cause global warming.

Funding for such projects also run against Japan’s OECD commitments because the project is anticipated to use outdated supercritical coal technology, which should be excluded from financing by JBIC, NEXI and Japan’s 3 major commercial banks according to their own investment policies and other Japanese investors in the project.

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Dear JBIC, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation:

I am writing because I believe that your institution should not fund Van Phong 1, a 1,320 megawatt coal-fired power project in Vietnam. It goes against Japan’s commitments to both the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Under the OECD Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Coal-Fired Electricity Generation, Van Phong 1 is not eligible to receive finance from JBIC because it uses less efficient, supercritical technology. By funding this project, JBIC is not respecting its agreements.

JBIC and Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have publicly recognised the importance of the Paris Agreement as a “global effort to combat climate change”. Prime Minister Abe has also stated Japan’s commitment to halting runaway climate change, which he linked to the unprecedented devastation in 2018 from torrential rain in western Japan, and extreme weather elsewhere in the world.

The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency has stated that in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increases, “we have no room to build anything that emits CO2”. Contradicting all of this, JBIC and other Japanese government agencies have agreed to support five new coal plants and are considering another seven. Van Phong 1 is one of these projects.
Vietnam does not need this new coal power plant. Continued financing of new coal power in Vietnam will worsen their air quality and lead to the loss of thousands of lives, according to the Vietnam Green Innovation and Development Centre. Van Phong 1 is not necessary to power Vietnam’s development. The Centre has forecast that Vietnam’s energy needs could be easily met by raising the percentage of renewable energy in its electricity generation mix.

I strongly believe that JBIC, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation should respect Japan’s international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Please ensure a cleaner energy future in Vietnam and don’t fund any more dirty coal power.


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