Japanese Civil Society welcomes halt of Bangladesh & Indonesian coal projects and Russian LNG project

(JACSES, Tokyo, 22 June 2022) It has been reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced to halt Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Matarbari 2 in Bangladesh and the Indramayu coal-fired power project in Indonesia. Both projects have been strongly criticized internationally with repeated calls for the suspension of support, as they not only exacerbate the climate crisis, but also have a huge impact on the livelihoods of local people. However, in Bangladesh, construction of the Matarbari 1 coal-fired projects which has already been supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has caused unemployment of many local people who made their livelihoods by salt pans and farming shrimp. And delays in compensation payments and alternative housing have made their lives more difficult. There has also been unauthorized reclamation of riverbed due to dumping sediments which was associated with the construction of an access road. These sites and structures were also planned to be used in Matarbari 2. As noted Japan is one of the world’s largest financiers of oil, gas and coal. In addition Japanese ECA JBIC has suspended funding for Russian gas producer Novatek’s major Arctic LNG project, adding yet further strain to a development that has been hard hit by western sanctions.