Dirty Coal: Breaking the Myth About Japanese-Funded Coal Plants

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 10.12.00 amThe Japanese government is the largest public financier of coal plants globally amongst OECD countries, and the second largest in the world, behind China. From 2003 to 2015, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) provided at least US$8.49 billion in loans and guarantees for new coal plants around the world, amounting to 23,933 MW of new capacity.

While the Japanese government claims its technology is less polluting and more efficient than that from competing countries, even going so far as to count some of its coal plant investments towards its climate finance commitments, the data tells a different story. Coal projects supported by JBIC are actually less efficient than the worldwide average, and are often not equipped with the best pollution control technology.

The Japanese government claims that exports by Japan and other OECD countries are pragmatically necessary because the alternative would be lower-efficiency, subcritical coal plants provided by China. In fact, this report documents that there has been a considerable increase in exports of more efficient Chinese boilers over the past five years, and that China is fast overtaking Japan as a provider of more efficient coal technologies.

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