Sustainable Business

Japan to tighten rules on coal power exports to meet G7 vow

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A protester holds a bucket of coal during a demonstration demanding Japan to stop supporting coal at home and overseas, at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

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TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) - Japan will tighten its rules on support for exports of new coal power plants, in line with a pact by the Group of Seven nations (G7) to halt new government backing for "unabated coal power" by the end of 2021, a government official said on Friday.

The G7 pledged on Sunday to rapidly scale up technologies and policies that speed the transition away from such power, generated by plants that lack emissions-cutting measures, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). read more

"Our rules to support coal power exports will become more strict, but no details have been set yet," said Hiroshi Tsuchiya, the director of the coal division at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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The ministry will co-ordinate with other government ministries to work out the details of Thursday's decision to review the export rules, which was made by a government panel on infrastructure strategy, he told Reuters by telephone.

Japan tightened state-backed financing criteria for overseas coal-fired power plants last July, after drawing criticism for its support of the dirty fossil fuel.

However it exempted certain situations, such as when a country seeking energy stability lacks any alternative to coal and seeks to build a coal-fired station employing Japan's so-called clean coal technology.

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Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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