Thursday 02 February, 2023
01 Jun 2022 | 8: 37 pm
Climate justice activists led by APMDD and AEN member organization CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network, Integrated Social Development Effort(ISDE) Bangladesh) gathered at the Chittagong on 31st May 2022 LNG hub to symbolically protest and pressure Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC), one of the top fossil fuel financiers in the world, to end its fossil fuel finance immediately. Chittagong is home to the largest LNG terminals in South Asia.
Under its climate policy statement, SMBC will stop providing financial services to projects with “unabated” coal technologies, and may still fund oil and gas projects. It also allows SMBC to indirectly provide financial services to third parties that may be engaged in unabated coal technologies and other dirty energy projects.
The Japanese government and its agencies including JICA and Sumitomo Mitsubishi have been putting the whole humankind in trouble by investing in LNG and coal-based power plants violating its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emission, environment activists told a human chain.
Thus Japan is meeting its self-interest by harming Bangladesh and the world violating the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 1992 which calls for reducing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases with the goal of ‘preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with Earth’s climate system’, they said on Tuesday 31st May 2022 at a human chain and protest rally at Chandgaon in Chattogram. They called upon the Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Financial Group to take steps for immediately stopping investment in all gas, coal-fired and oil-based power plants.
In his speech, Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt Member Secretary Hasan Mehedi said that at present the Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Financial Group (SMBC) has two projects in Bangladesh– heavy fuel oil (HFO)-based Summit Gazipur (phase 2) with 300 mw capacity for an investment of $3 billion, and LNG-based Reliance Meghnaghat power plant with a capacity of 750 mw for an investment of $1265 million, which are contradictory to the Paris Agreement.
“Japan has continued its investment in this type of project despite protest from the member organisations of the BWGED for long,” he said. Integrated Social Development Effort Bangladesh (ISDE) Executive Director SM Nazer Hossain said that the greenhouse gas emission must be brought down to zero level if the global warming has to be controlled by 2050. The use of fossil fuels is the major reason for greenhouse gas emission.
“But we do not have time to ensure lowering the greenhouse gas emission to zero level by the stipulated time. That’s why Japan must implement its commitment by stopping investment in fossil fuel sector following the directives of the International Energy Agency (IEA),” said Nazer.
The speakers also demanded compensation for the climate vulnerable countries as per the commitment, assist Bangladesh in ensuring renewable energy and help zeroing carbon emission by 2050 and take steps by Japan to aid Bangladesh in investing in 100% renewable energy sources.