350 Japanボランティアによるローカルグループで、石炭火力発電所の問題に特化したキャンペーンを展開する、350 New Enerationの山崎鮎美は「残念ながら日本の銀行が、アジアや世界レベルで見ても、化石燃料産業への支援に大きく加担してしまっていることは、日本では積極的に情報をとりにいかない限り、その恐ろしい事実を感じることができません。MUFGさんの公式サイトやSNSはクリーンなイメージで、一見、気候危機と何も関係がないように見えます。だからこそ、私たちはずっと声を上げ続けなければいけないと思います。#気候変動への支援をやめてください」と訴えました。
Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)のコーディネーターのリディ・ナクピルは「MUFGの環境ポリシーの例外規定、特にCCUS、混焼などの技術を用いる石炭火力へのファイナンスに対して、私たちは警鐘を鳴らします。これらの技術を装備した場合でも、石炭火力発電所からの温室効果ガス排出量は、人々や地球が許容できないレベルに達します。株主総会を控えた今、気候危機の緊急性に鑑みて、MUFGに例外なく石炭火力へのファイナンスを停止し、アジアにおけるガスおよび石油プロジェクトへの関与を段階的に廃止するよう要請します」とコメントしました。
Asian Energy Networkのコーディネーターであるスザンヌ・タグルは、「MUFGは、アジアだけでなく世界中で、化石燃料プロジェクトのトップの資金提供者であり続けています。これが、アジアの「ダーティ・カンパニー」の1つとして特定した理由です。MUFGの政策は、パリ協定の目標を達成するために必要な野心と緊急性を欠いています」とコメントしました。
インドネシアの若者コミュニティであるFossil Free Universitas Indonesiaに所属する大学生のナイファ・ウズラは、「私たちはNoCoal Japanと連帯し、MUFGが地球と私たちの世代の未来を破壊している石炭とパーム油への資金提供を終了することを求めています。汚染企業への資金の流れを遮断することで、私たちの国および世界の気候災害を悪化させるプロジェクトを阻止できることを願っています」と述べました。
RAN 責任ある金融シニアキャンペーナー ハナ・ハイネケンは「邦銀の森林セクターに関する方針が毎年改善されていることは評価できます。特に、みずほとMUFGが国際基準であるNDPE基準を方針に盛り込んだことは重要です。しかし実際に、方針が投融資先企業の現地の事業で遵守されているかどうかを確認する必要があります。それがない限り、方針の効果は限定的です。 一方、MUFGは方針で高評価を得ながらも、インドネシアの子会社であるバンクダナモンにはMUFGの方針は適用されていません。バンクダナモンは問題あるパーム油大手企業に資金を提供しているため、大きな抜け穴となっています。方針が改善されながらも、森林や泥炭地の破壊、さらに人権侵害に関わりのある企業との取引が継続しています。今後、方針の実施状況をモニタリングしていく必要があります」と指摘しました（注4）。
On May 17, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (“MUFG”) published the “MUFG Carbon Neutrality Declaration,” and announced its plan to achieve net zero financed emissions by 2050. The announcement follows a resolution filed on MUFG in March by Kiko Network and three individual shareholders affiliated with Market Forces, Rainforest Action Network, and 350.org Japan (“co-filers”), calling on the bank to adopt and disclose a plan to align its financing and investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Co-filers welcomed MUFG’s decision to strengthen its policy toward the Paris goals.
However, given the absence of metrics and short to medium-term targets which are requested by the resolution, today’s announcement by MUFG does not provide sufficient assurance that MUFG’s portfolio will be aligned with the Paris Agreement. Co-filers have therefore decided to go forward with the climate resolution in order to secure a stronger commitment by MUFG.
Failure to Set Short and Medium Term Targets MUFG is the first Japanese bank to commit to a carbon-neutrality goal of net zero financed emissions by 2050 and to join the international Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) initiative. Net zero by 2050 is the long-term goal necessary in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5oC, and is also the goal recently set by the Japanese Government. Given MUFG’s status as the largest Asian banker of climate chaos, the filers welcome the net zero commitment by MUFG. However, MUFG refrained from setting short and medium term targets, stating instead that it “will work to set and disclose an interim milestone for 2030 in FY2022.” Given the urgency of the climate crisis and scientific consensus that global CO2 emissions need to be halved by 2030 in order to reach the 1.5oC target, it is worrying that MUFG’s decision to not set short and medium-term targets makes it impossible to confirm Paris alignment. Moreover, in order to achieve these targets, it is necessary to measure and disclose all financed emissions (Scope3), but MUFG has made no explicit commitment to do so.
Coal Power Finance Phase Out Target Last year, MUFG set a target to reduce the project finance balance for coal-fired power generation to zero by FY2040. With this announcement, MUFG has clarified that it will “aim to disclose the portfolio reduction target for corporate customers whose business largely involves coal-fired power generation.” While this is a step forward, in order to achieve the 1.5oC target, it is necessary to decommission all coal-fired power plants in OECD countries by 2030 and worldwide by 2040. MUFG’s lack of commitment to phase out all coal finance is not consistent with science and contrasts with recent demands by the COP26 Presidency.
Inadequate Policies on Other Carbon-Intensive Sectors As with the revision of the policy framework last month, this announcement failed to make a comprehensive commitment to stop financing oil and gas expansion or the destruction of forests and peatlands, both of which are hugely carbon-intensive. In order to achieve Paris alignment, there is no room to support any fossil fuel expansion or further degradation of natural ecosystems. Given MUFG’s ranking as the sixth largest banker of fossil fuels in the world and one of the top financiers of rainforest-destroying commodities, its current commitments do not properly address the enormous carbon intensity of its financing and investment portfolio.
<Commentary from shareholders> Kimiko Hirata, International Director of Kiko Network, stated, “MUFG’s announcement of a net zero by 2050 goal and its joining of the Net Zero Banking Alliance are important steps forward. However, there is no decision on the concrete metrics and goals for achieving the short and medium term goals of coal power emissions reduction and decarbonization of corporate finance. In order to determine Paris alignment, MUFG must adopt stronger policies with more urgent timelines.”
Takayoshi Yokoyama, 350.org Japan Representative, stated “MUFG’s declaration of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its investment and loan portfolio by 2050 is the first attempt by a Japanese bank to step forward in climate action. However, it is concerning that MUFG did not set short- and medium-term targets that are necessary to achieve the 1.5 degree target. In order to tackle the climate crisis, MUFG must stop investing in and financing new fossil fuel projects immediately as a first priority. They need to urgently establish a comprehensive phase-out strategy for fossil fuels, especially that of coal power, in line with the science.”
Toyoyuki Kawakami, Japan Representative of Rainforest Action Network, stated “MUFG’s Net Zero commitment is an important acknowledgement of its role as a major carbon emitter. However, net zero commitments are meaningless without an immediate stop to financing fossil fuel expansion and deforestation, and any reliance on questionable carbon offsets is unacceptable. It is also very concerning that MUFG’s policies do not apply to its Indonesian subsidiary, which is an important funder of carbon-intensive industries in Indonesia.”
Megu Fukuzawa, Energy Campaigner of Market Forces, stated, “If this announcement was meant to convince investors that MUFG was seriously dealing with climate change it falls well short of that goal. MUFG is simply tinkering around the edges of an urgent and escalating issue, and its policies allow them to continue financing fossil fuels and supporting coal power companies around the world.”
For Inquiries, please contact:
Kiko Network www.kikonet.org Kimiko Hirata, email@example.com Market Forces www.marketforces.org.au Meg Fukuzawa, firstname.lastname@example.org Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Emma Lierley, email@example.com 350.org Nicole Han, Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org
Loopholes Remain in SMBC Group’s New Coal Policy Japan’s Megabank Still Not Aligned with the Paris Agreement
Today, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (hereinafter SMBC Group) published a statement entitled “Reinforcing Efforts against Climate Change,” (1) announcing revisions to its coal-fired power sector policy as well as updated targets for green and sustainability finance. Environmental NGOs welcomed the strengthening of policies toward decarbonization, but issued the following statement, recognizing that there are still many challenges to be addressed for the SMBC Group to set a business strategy consistent with the Paris Agreement.
Coal-fired Power Sector Policy In the new policy, the Group stated that “Support for newly planned coal-fired power plants and the expansion of existing plants are not provided” and removed exceptions such as ultra-supercritical pressure (USC) technology from the previous policy. However, in an exchange with NGOs, the Group clarified that under the new policy, “support can be considered when (projects) will contribute to transition to decarbonization, such as CCUS and ammonia / biomass mixed combustion.” These technologies have not yet been put to practical use and will not contribute to the achievement of the medium-term goal required for the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to halve greenhouse gases in 2030. Regarding the mixed combustion of ammonia and hydrogen, about 10-20% of the mixed combustion is aimed at, and it is not a solution at all. Coal-fired power plants need to be shut down by 2030 in OECD countries and by 2040 globally to reach the 1.5 degrees target. Instead of treating CCUS and mixed combustion technology as exceptions, the Group needs to set rigorous criteria to determine whether their clients’ businesses are consistent with the 1.5 degrees goal.
Measurement of Loan/Investment Portfolio GHG Emissions (Scope 3) The SMBC Group announced that it will “establish a long-term action plan to contribute to a carbon neutral society by 2050 and detailed initiatives” and that it will “obtain a clear understanding of the GHG emissions generated by its loan/investment portfolio (Scope3) and set medium- to long-term targets regarding those emissions.” We welcome this as an initiative that is more progressive than other Japanese banks. The Group explains it will start with Scope 3 of power, oil and gas sectors. We urge the Group to expand the scope to the entire value chain of the fossil fuel sector including coal mining, and the forest sector including palm oil. In addition, it is important to include asset management companies such as Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management and work on it as an entire group.
No Medium-To Long-Term Goal Setting On the other hand, compared to the recent international trend that European and US banks are committing to net zero emissions in their investment and loan portfolios (2), it is a concern that the Group’s has only committed to “future target setting” of such emissions. The goal set by the Group last year to reduce its credit balance of project finance related to coal-fired power generation to zero by 2040 needs to be realized earlier and be expanded to corporate finance in the coal-fired sector in order to be consistent with the Paris Agreement. There is also great concern that no revisions have been made to the oil and gas and forest sectors. Including these sectors, it is necessary to promptly set specific indicators and medium- to long-term goals that are consistent with the Paris Agreement.
Comments by NGOs Eri Watanabe, Japan Finance Campaigner for 350.org said “Concerning the urgency of the climate crisis, the revision of the SMBC Group’s policy is much slower. In order to meet the 1.5 degrees target, it is necessary to realize the urgent phase-out of coal and fossil fuel sectors as climate science demands. Strong leadership is required to achieve the target by backcasting, rather than by building up on the current situation.”
Kimiko Hirata, International Director at Kiko Network stated “Understanding that the SMBC Group’s recent revision is due to the recognition of the need to strengthen actions under the Paris Agreement, we cannot evaluate that the Group’s finance is consistent with the Paris Agreement. Especially in the coal-fired power sector, although not explicitly stated, there is great concern that allowing CCUS and ammonia/hydrogen mixed combustion technologies will help extend the life of coal-fired power.”
Yuki Tanabe, Program Director of JACSES said “Regarding the suspension of support for coal-fired power generation projects, the SMBC Group has made it clear that CCUS and ammonia/biomass mixed combustion are exceptions in the conversation with NGOs. It is impossible to assume that there are such exceptions from the announced policy text. If there is such an exception, it should be clearly stated in the policy to avoid misleading understanding by stakeholders.”
Hana Heineken, Senior Responsible Finance Campaigner at RAN said, “SMBC Group has stepped ahead of the other Japanese banks by committing to measure its financed emissions. But given its significant climate footprint, there is no way we can take them seriously without a clear commitment to zero out emissions based on a 1.5 degree timeline, including by stopping the financing of fossil fuels, deforestation, and peat destruction.”