About $1 billion in Japanese funding that Japan claimed was part of a UN initiative to help developing countries take action against climate change went, unnoticed, towards Japanese companies for the construction of three coal-fired power plants, the Associated Press reported Monday.
KANCI KULON, Indonesia (AP) — About $1 billion in loans under a U.N. initiative for poor countries to tackle global warming is going toward the construction of power plants fired by coal, the biggest human source of carbon pollution.
Japan gave the money to help its companies build three such plants in Indonesia and listed it with the United Nations as climate finance, The Associated Press has found. Japan says these plants burn coal more efficiently and are therefore cleaner than old coal plants. Japan, a top contributor of climate finance, denies any wrongdoing and has done nothing illegal — there are no rules against counting such projects as climate finance in the U.N. system.
"There are countries ... that cannot afford to have other methods than coal," Japanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Takako Ito said. "For these countries, we'd like to provide the best method of reducing carbon dioxide."