Japan Defends Use of Climate Finance for Coal Projects Abroad

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Japan said its support for coal-fired
power projects in developing countries using funds set aside to
combat climate change is a necessary step in their economic
development.

The country was named by environmentalists this week as the
recipient of the so-called “Fossil Award” for funding power
stations using coal, which emits more carbon dioxide blamed for
global warming. It came as climate envoys from world
governments, including Japan, gather for United Nations talks in
Lima, Peru, on how to tackle climate change.

“We are aware that there are various opinions” about
supporting coal power plants, Junya Nakano, an official in
charge of climate change policy at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign
Affairs
, said by phone today. “In reality, though, some
developing countries rely on coal. Can they shift to renewables
just like that?”

Japan, which is promoting exports of its technology that
claims to reduce coal emissions, has provided funds to build at
least three coal-fired power plants in Indonesia. The money was
allocated from a $30 billion fund to combat climate change that
developed nations agreed to provide to poorer states between
2010 and 2012.

The country, the world’s third-biggest economy, provided
about $14 billion to help developing countries respond to
climate change between Oct. 2009 through the end of 2012,
according to the ministry. For the period between 2013 and 2015,
Japan plans to contribute another $13 billion, the ministry
said.

In total, developed states have pledged to channel $100
billion a year to climate-related projects in developing
countries by 2020.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at
cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Peter Langan, Jason Rogers

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