Coal Fired Power Plant Southafrica


March 31, 2016

Mr. Shinzo ABE, Prime Minister
Mr. Taro ASO, Minister of Finance
Mr. Hiroshi WATANABE, Governor, CEO, Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Re: JBIC must Reject Financing for the Batang Coal-fired Power Plant, Central Java, Indonesia

Dear Mr. Abe, Mr. Aso, and Mr. Watanabe:

On the occasion of Prime Minister Abe’s state visit to the United States, the undersigned groups from across the world assert that we are deeply concerned about the role that Japan has been playing in encouraging coal-fired power development, especially in Indonesia. Japan has continued to slow down progress toward shifting financing away from fossil fuels towards clean and sustainable renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. As the leader of the G7, it is especially important that Japan no longer be a laggard, but instead become a leader in encouraging the shift away from dirty energy to catalyze the necessary transition that will prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

Japan has a history of encouraging continued dependence on coal even as the science and deadly climate impacts have shown the urgent need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. From 2007 to 2014, Japan provided over US$20 billion in coal financing abroad. Japan has often resisted any limitation on export credits for coal projects. While the United States, France and other countries have placed limitations on its financing of coal projects abroad, Japan remains the world’s number one supporter of overseas coal to the detriment of the planet and people. Initiating new coal-fired power plants in 2016 risks locking in damaging carbon emissions for decades to come, at a time when the world has agreed in the Paris Agreement that every country must play their part in dramatically decreasing emissions.

One example is the Batang coal-fired power plant in Central Java, Indonesia. Even though the project owners have failed to ensure “social acceptability” for the project in an appropriate manner and have blocked landowners and farmers from the land they depend on for their livelihood without their agreement, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has so far failed to reject financing for the project. Coal-fired plants cause grave damage to the climate, but they are burden local communities with millions of dollars in negative health impacts and shortened life expectancies. In light of the negative environmental, social, and climate impacts, and the human rights violations associated with the project, we strongly urge JBIC to reject financing for the project ahead of its financial closure deadline on April 6, 2016.

The project proponents and the Indonesian government have failed to implement the appropriate environmental and social considerations according to the JBIC Guidelines. Late last year, an Indonesian state-sanctioned but independent Human Rights Commission even warned the Japanese government to review human rights violations surrounding the land acquisition process. The Japanese government and JBIC must immediately urge the project proponents to ensure free access to the unsold farmland, to prevent any unnecessary conflict and so that the farmers can maintain their livelihoods.

Local communities in Indonesia have been subject to violence, intimidation, and human rights violations. This trend is seen around the world with tragic consequences: March 2016 has witnessed the murder of environmental defenders Berta Caceres and Nelson Garcia in Honduras, and Sikhosiphi Rhadebe in South Africa. On the occasion of Prime Minister Abe’s state visit to the United States, the international community strongly asserts that intimidation and murder of local communities is unacceptable. Japan and JBIC risk enabling this behaviour if they were to move forward with financing for Batang.

The JBIC Guidelines encourage JBIC to deny financing for a project where a project proponent fails to undertake appropriate environmental and social considerations. Since clear violations of the Guidelines have occurred at Batang, JBIC should reject financing for the project ahead of the financial closure deadline for the project on April 6, 2016.

The Japanese government must refuse financing not just for the Batang coal project, but all coal projects in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. As the leader of the G7, Japan must end its financing for coal projects and shift toward clean and sustainable renewable projects that will increase access to electricity without polluting local air and water or contributing to climate change. We appreciate your consideration of our concerns and hope the Japanese government will choose to end its financing for domestic and international coal projects.

Cc: Mr. Masahiro Okafuji, President & Chief Executive Officer, ITOCHU Corporation
Mr. Yasuo Maeda, Chairman, Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER)
Mr. Masayoshi Kitamura, President, Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-POWER)
Mr. Teisuke Kitayama, Chairman of the Board, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Mr. Nobuhide Hayashi, President & CEO, Mizuho Bank, Ltd.
Mr. Nobuyuki Hirano, President, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.



This letter is signed by 231 organisations, including those working at international and regional levels plus organisations working nationally in 42 countries.




Organisation Country Organisation Country
1 Friends of the Earth Japan Japan 5 Friends of the Earth International Int’l
2 Kiko Network Japan 6 Friends of the Earth United States USA
3 Greenpeace Indonesia Indonesia 7 Oil Change International Int’l
4 Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) Indonesia 8 Sierra Club USA




Organisation Country Organisation Country
1 BaliFokus Foundation Indonesia 16 Greeneconomy & Development and Population Research Institute, Japan Japan
2 Indonesian Toxics-Free Network Indonesia 17 Greenpeace Japan Japan
3 Jaringan Tanpa Asap Batubara Indramayu (JATAYU), Indonesia Indonesia 18 Greens Japan Japan
4 Komunitas Akar Rumput, Indonesia Indonesia 19 Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) Japan
5 KRuHA (people’s coalition for the right to water) – Indonesia Indonesia 20 Japan Tropical Forest Action Network (JATAN) Japan
6 Paguyuban UKPWR, Indonesia Indonesia 21 Mekong Watch, Japan Japan
7 Pelangi Indonesia – GCAP Indonesia Indonesia 22 MIGRANTE Japan Japan
8 RAPEL (Rakyat Penyelamat Lingkungan) Cirebon, Indonesia Indonesia 23 Namaenonai-Shinbun, Japan Japan
9 Sawit Watch, Bogor, Indonesia Indonesia 24 Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan (NINDJA) Japan
10 Solidaritas Keadilan untuk Warga Batang, Indonesia Indonesia 25 ODA reform network Kansai, Japan Japan
11 WALHI East Java, Indonesia Indonesia 26 Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC), Japan Japan
12 WALHI West Java, Indonesia Indonesia 27 Restoration Project from the Earthquake Disaster, Kanagawa, Japan Japan
13 Zone Merah, Jepara, Indonesia Indonesia 28 Restoration Project from the Earthquake Disaster, Kanagawa, Japan Japan
14 A SEED JAPAN Japan 29 Sarawak Campaign Committee (SCC) Japan
15 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Japan Information Desk Japan 30 Stare at the Time Japan Japan
16 Campaign for Nuclear-free Japan Japan 31 Stop Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, Kanagawa, Japan Japan



  2. African Resources Watch (AFREWATCH)
  3. Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law & Development
  4. Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development
  5. BankTrack
  6. CliMates
  7. Corporate Europe Observatory
  8. Focus on the Global South
  9. Food & Water Europe
  10. Food & Water Watch U.S.
  11. GAIA – GLobal Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
  12. The Gaia Foundation
  13. Greenpeace International
  14. Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Thailand
15. Health of Mother Earth Foundation16. Indigenous Environmental Network17. Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO)

18. Migrant Forum in Asia

19. No REDD in Africa Network (NRAN)

20. Oilwatch Southeast Asia (OWSEA)

21. Rainforest Action Network

22. South Asia Peasants Coalition

23. South Asia Food Sovereignty Network

24. South Asia Farmers Forum

25. Womin (African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction)




  1. 350 Australia
  2. Australian Youth Climate Coalition
  3. Environment Victoria
  4. Friends of the Earth Australia
  5. Front Line Action on Coal
  6. Market Forces, Australia
  7. The Bimblebox Alliance, Australia


  1. Nabodhara, Bangladesh
  2. National Hawkers Federation, Bangladesh


  1. Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement 11.11.11, Belgium

Bosnia & Herzegovina

  1. Centar za zivotnu sredinu (Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina)


  1. Zelena akcija – Friends of the Earth Croatia


  1. NOAH (Friends of the Earth Denmark)


  1. Arab Youth Climate Movement

El Salvador

  1. CESTA (Friends of the Earth El Salvador)


  1. ATTAC France
  2. Amis de la Terre France


  1. BUNDjugend (Young Friends of the Earth Germany)
  2. urgewald, Germany


  1. Abibimman Foundation, Ghana


  1. Conservation Action Trust, India
  2. Environics Trust, India
  3. Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, India
  4. Human Rights Forum, India
  5. Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), India
  6. mines,minerals & PEOPLE, India
  7. PAIRVI, India
  8. River Basin Friends (NE), India


  1. Consumers Association of Penang, Malaysia
  2. Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia)
  3. Third World Network, Malaysia


  1. OT Watch Mongolia


  1. Justiça Ambiental (Friends of the Earth Mozambique)


  1. Andin Youth, Ye Township, Mon State, Myanmar
  2. Arakan EITI Watch Committee, Myanmar
  3. Ayeyarwady MATA working group committee, Myanmar
  4. Beautiful Beach Development Network, Nga Yoke Kaung, Ayeyarwaddy, Myanmar
  5. Burma Partnership
  6. Center for Youth and Social Harmony (CYSH), Myanmar
  7. COMREG, Myanmar
  8. Dawei Development Association (DDA), Myanmar
  9. Kan Chay Arr Man (Fishery Development Network), Myanmar
  10. Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)
  11. Karen River Watch
  12. Kun Gyan Gone Network (KGG), Myanmar
  13. Kyainge Tong CSO, Myanmar
  14. Kyauk Ma Yaw CSO (MoN), Myanmar
  15. Lands In Our Hand, Myanmar
  16. Myanmar China Pipeline Watch Committee
  17. Myanmar Alliance for Transparency & Accountability (Mandalay Working Group)
  18. Myanmar Green Network
  19. Myeik Karen Literature and Culture Committee, Myanmar
  20. Pann Tai Shin (Village Development Org), Myanmar
  21. Pa-O Youth Org (PYO)
  22. Paung Ku, Myanmar
  23. Pone Yeik Sit social development org ( Bogalay Tsp), Myanmar
  24. Regional Development Org (Bogalay Tsp), Myanmar
  25. Resource Rights for the Indigenous Peoples, Myanmar
  26. Sane Lann Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar
  27. Shwe Maw Won Kyauk Tan Development Group, Myanmar
  28. Social Program Aid for Civic Education (SPACE), Myanmar
  29. Southern Youth Development Organization, Myanmar
  30. Thilawa Social Development Group, Myanmar
  31. Thiri Ayer May women development org; (Bogalay Tsp), Myanmar
  32. Tigit CSO, Myanmar
  33. Wan Lark Development Foundation(Arakan), Myanmar


  1. Alliance for Right to Food National Network, Kathmandu, Nepal
  2. All Nepal Peasants Federation
  3. Dalits and Landless Peasants Association, Nepal
  4. Jagaran Nepal
  5. National Youth Peasants Association, Nepal
  6. Women Peasants Association, Nepal


  1. Both ENDS, Netherlands

New Zealand

  1. 2016 New Zealand Youth Delegation


  1. Climate Change Network Nigeria


  1. Rainforest Foundation Norway


  1. Citizens Alliance in Reforms for Equitable and Efficient Development (creed), Pakistan


  1. TierrActiva Peru


  1. Alyansa Tigil Mina – ATM (Alliance Against Mining – Philippines)
  2. Bayay Sibuyanon Inc., Philippines
  3. Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers), Philippines
  4. Center for Energy Ecology and Development (CEED Philippines)
  5. Central Visayas People’s Network for Life and Environment (Kinabuhi), Inc., Bohol, Philippines
  6. Climate Reality Project Philippines
  7. Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Philippines
  8. Ecological Society of the Philippines
  9. GAIA Philippines
  10. Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), Philippines
  11. Kalikasan Peoples Network for the Environment (Kalikasan), Philippines
  12. KATRIBU Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Katribu National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines)
  13. Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
  14. Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
  15. Sanlakas – Philippines


  1. Friends of the Earth Scotland

Sierra Leone

  1. Friends of the Earth Sierra Leone


  1. Focus, Association for Sustainable Development, Slovenia

South Africa

  1. Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  2. Global Environmental Trust, South Africa
  3. Earthlore, South Africa
  4. Mariann Co-ordinating Committee(South Africa)
  5. South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, South Africa
  6. Groundwork (Friends of the Earth SOuth Africa)

South Korea

  1. Korea Federation for Environmental Movements (Friends of the Earth Korea)


  1. Amigos de la Tierra, Spain

Sri Lanka

  1. Center for Environmental Justice (Friends of the Earth Sri Lanka)


  1. Mom Loves Taiwan Association, Taiwan


  1. Andaman Foundation, Thailand
  2. Andaman Organizations for Participatory Restoration of Nature Resources, Thailand
  3. Anti-Global Warming Associations, Thailand
  4. Association of Thailand’s Small-Scale Fishery Folks Federation, Thailand
  5. Center of Ecological Building Awareness, Thailand
  6. Development Plan Watch of Satoon Province, Thailand
  7. Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH)
  8. EIA EHIA Watch, Thailand
  9. Food Security Network-Southern Region, Thailand
  10. Healthy Public Policy Foundation, Thailand
  11. Hotel Association of Koh Lanta, Thailand
  12. Khao Hin Sorn Anti-Coal Movement, Thailand
  13. Koa Klang Environmental Conservation Network of Krabi Province, Thailand
  14. Koa Yao Noi Ecological Tourism Association of Phang-nga Province, Thailand
  15. Kon Rak Lay Krabi Associations, Thailand
  16. Krabi Anti-coal Network, Thailand
  17. Krabi Fisherfolks Network, Thailand
  18. Lanta Island Tourism Associations, Thailand
  19. Local Fishery Network of Trang Province, Thailand
  20. Mae-Moh Anti-Coal Movement, Thailand
  21. Non Government Organization-Coordination Southern Region, Thailand
  22. Pakbara Gulf Conservation Network, Thailand
  23. Pakpranang Estuary Conservation Network of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand
  24. People of Songkla Development Network, Thailand
  25. Phang-Nga Fisherfolks of Andaman Network, Thailand
  26. Prakasai Environmental Conservation Network, Thailand
  27. Protect Trang Group, Thailand
  28. Public Health Volunteer of Krabi, Thailand
  29. Rak Andaman Network, Thailand
  30. Rak Tale Thai Associations, Thailand
  31. Save Andaman from Coal Network, Thailand
  32. Save Prakasai Network, Thailand
  33. Southeast Asia Coal Network, Thailand
  34. Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) Thailand
  35. Tapteng Civil Society Network of Trang province, Thailand
  36. Thailand Coal Network, Thailand
  37. Thailand Wetland Foundation, Thailand
  38. Thasala Local Fishery Folk Association of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand
  39. We Love Lanta Network, Thailand


  1. Amis de la Terre Togo

United Kingdom

  1. This Changes Everything UK
  2. Oil Vay: Jewish Climate Action UK
  3. Global Justice Now, UK

United States of America

  1. Center for Biological Diversity, USA
  2. Climate Justice Project, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
  3. East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, USA
  4. EcoEquity, USA
  5. Environmental and Energy Study Institute, USA
  6. Gender Action, USA
  7. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, USA
  8. Institute for Policy Studies, Climate Policy Program, USA
  9. KyotoUSA
  10. Nuclear Information and Resource Service, USA
  11. Oakland Institute, USA
  12. Pacific Environment, USA
  13. SustainUS: U.S. Youth for Justice & Sustainability


  1. REDES (Friends of the Earth Uruguay)


  1. CHANGE, Vietnam


  1. Chalimbana River Headwaters Conservation Trust, Zambia
  2. Zambia Climate Change Network


  1. Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, Zimbabwe


  1. Anita Syafitri Arif, Denpasar, Bali
  2. Akua Britwum, Ghana
  3. Rev. Peggy Clarke, Minister, First Unitarian Society, Hastings on Hudson, NY
  4. Sarah Ganong, Connecticut, USA
  5. Engr. Saw Moe Myint, Freelance writer, Myanmar Green Network


Image: Megan Lewis / Groundwork