Japan is under fire for allocating $1 billion in climate loans for developing countries to fund new coal plants in Indonesia.
“Japan gave the money to help its companies build three such plants in Indonesia and listed it with the United Nations as climate finance,” AP reported last week. While the new plants burn more efficiently than older ones, “they still emit twice as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide as plants running on natural gas,” and villagers near one of the facilities report declining stocks of shrimp, fish, and green mussels.
“Japan, a top contributor of climate finance, denies any wrongdoing and has done nothing illegal,” since “there are no rules against counting such projects as climate finance in the UN system,” Ritter and Mason write. “There is no watchdog agency that ensures the money is spent in the most effective way, and no definition of what climate finance is.”