By – Nazina Belle
In December, 2014 Japan announced at the UN Climate Conference in Peru that they have provided $16 billion in Climate Finance since 2013.
Construction of Coal Power Plant in India by Japan using Climate Finance
Now Climate Finance is money marked by rich countries like Japan and committed at the UN Climate Talk yearly to assist poor, developing and underdeveloped countries in limiting their carbon emissions while expanding.
Coal Power Plant in Kudgi
This climate finance committed by the Japanese government is currently funding the building of coal fired power plants in India and Bangladesh with money that should be used to fight climate change. Japanese officials have sources $630 million additional in loans for the two power plant projects in Kudgi, India project funded by Japanese corporations abroad through export credits and Japan bank for International Cooperation and Matarbari, Bangladesh project financed through Japanese development loan agreement with the government of Bangladesh, this is proceeding a $1 billion already being earmarked for the building of coal plants in Indonesia.
So what could be the motivating factors of Japan funding coal fired power plants construction over clean energy like solar and wind power technology?
Local Farmer in India
Well although these projects have been marred with protest and violent clashes between local farmers, stakeholders and police out of fear that the power plant will pollute the environment, the argument from Tokyo is that the projects are environmentally and climate friendly since it utilize modern technology that burns the coals more efficiently, which would reduce the carbon emissions compared to older coal plants. They further claimed that because of the rapidly increasing population growth in developing countries coal plants will become necessary and extremely important to these countries in the development of their economics and expanding access to electricity.
Protest in Peru over Coal Fired Power Plants construction
How can this happen simply because the United Nations have imposed no rules with the use of climate finance, which means that government officials have complete authority to decide the project they chose to fund with the money.
Lack of monitoring and evaluation since this not only damages the climate but also displaces farmers and local residents. Environmental activist world wide are demanding that the United Nations stand up and restrict the use climate finance in funding any global warming / climate change activity such as the expansion of coal and other fossil fuels project and that the creation of a Green Climate Fund recently should encompass the climate finance.
This issue is carded to be discussed at the Green Climate Fund board meeting this week in South Korea.
Reference: Thursday, March 26, 2015 – http://www.guardian.co.tt
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