TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) - Japan will no longer provide loans for two coal power plant projects in Indonesia and Bangladesh, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday, responding to global criticism over its continued support for the polluting fuel.
G7 nations pledged last June to end new government support for unabated coal power by the end of 2021, but Japan continued its aid for building the Indramayu plant in Indonesia and the Matarbari plant in Bangladesh, saying they were “ongoing cases”.
Coal is considered unabated when it is burned for power or heat without using technology to capture the resulting emissions, a system not yet widely used in power generation.
But Japan has changed its policy in response to growing opposition to coal as it is one of the heaviest-emitting fossil fuels and environmental activists and investors are eager to see it phased out.
“We’ve decided not to proceed further with the Matarbari project in light of the trend of international discussions on coal power, and after consulting with the Bangladeshi side,” Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Hikariko Ono told a news conference, according to the ministry’s website.
As for the Indramayu project, the Japanese government has decided not to consider further yen loans as the Indonesian government had decided not to proceed with the project, she said.
The Japanese government has long been criticized by envinronmental groups for backing exports of coal-power technology and equipment even as the world moves to combat climate change. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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