AIGCC and two other founding partners of The Investor Agenda, a collaborative initiative of network organisations with thousands of institutional investor members and signatories that manage tens of trillions of dollars of assets, have written to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan to urge his government to take more swift and decisive action in its pursuit of decarbonisation goals following the outcome of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.
The letter urges that more needs to be done to avert the climate crisis and that Japan can do more domestically and lead decarbonisation efforts in Asia. Japan, according to the Sixth Strategic Energy Plan, plans to use coal for 19% of its total power generation in 2030. The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that unabated coal power needs to be phased out in advanced economies by 2030 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
At the Glasgow meeting, countries committed to strengthen their NDCs by the end of 2022. Taking this opportunity, the letter asks Japan to set a reliable and actionable plan that is backed up by robust policy mechanisms in order to phase out coal and raise the share of clean energy from the currently planned levels to much higher levels. Investors as well as local and international corporations expect Japan to increase the use of clean energy to maintain its competitive positioning.
The three founding partners note that Japan had pledged to support Asia’s transition to zero-emission power generation at COP26. However, the types of technology support being planned for ASEAN nations are raising questions. For example, the support includes mixing ammonia at coal-fired power plants and deploying carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Both technologies are still under development and counting on such premature measures may lock in coal-fired power generation capacity in ASEAN countries while the cost of renewable power generation is steadily in decline.
The letter further urges Japan to play a leadership role in the region by steering countries away from fossil fuels and promoting transition finance, rather than prolonging the lives of polluting power plants.
The letter is signed by the CEOs of The Investor Agenda partners in Asia – AIGCC, CDP, and PRI.