“Coal is Not Cool – we don’t want the Batang Coal Plant!”

Amid protests by local communities and international civil society, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has decided to finance the 2000MW Batang coal-fired power plant in Central Java, Indonesia with USD 2.052 billion. Other private financiers include a number of Japanese retail banks including Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Shinsei Bank, Norinchukin Bank, and a few Singaporean financial firms with total project finance totalling more than $4 billion USD.

Local communities have been continuously opposed to this controversial project for 5 years and are still fighting against it. Serious human rights violations have been reported as a result of forced land reclamation for the project and significant social and climate impacts from the project are a major concern.

The Japanese government, through its export credit agency JBIC, and Japanese banks must stop financing the project and hear the voices of local people and the concerns of civil society.

Key issues

-On July 29, 2015, representatives of the local farmers and fishermen delivered an official objection to JBIC pointing that how the project has failed many provisions of the JBIC Guidelines for Confirmation of Environmental and Social Considerations
– Cases of human rights violations have been reported from the local area
– National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Indonesia, an independent government agency, has issued several recommendations (latest one is dated May 11, 2016) to the project proponents.
– At Batang, the community is still expressing its opposition against the project and its intention to reject selling their own land since the end of March.
– Even with USC (Ultra Super Critical) technology, CO2 emissions from coal plants are still twice that of natural gas. Other pollutants from the power plant are a continuing concern, such as air pollution of SOx, NOx and PM2.5 and thermal discharge.

More information from Japanese NGOs is available here http://sekitan.jp/jbic/2016/06/10/1711?lang=en

Do Something Cool ! Send a message to JBIC and support local people by spreading the news

1. Tweet and share the story!
2. Email JBIC ( kankyo-hairyo@jbic.go.jp ) *See below for the sample letter
3. Share your photos of protests, solidarity or any relevant ones. Send your photos to staff81middle@photos.flickr.com . Please include “tag: CoalJapan” in the body message.
Album is here

Tweet Samples
– Going against the Paris Treaty, Japan bets $2 billion on a coal plant in Batang, Indonesia -@METI_JPN #divest from coal and support RE. #coaljapan

– Japan Bank of Int’l Coop. to invest $2 billion in coal projects rife with human rights abuse and env. degradation #stopbatangcoal

Japan financing batang coal power plant rife with human rights abuse and land grabs #divestjapan #stopbatangcoal

– The fence has driven farmers out from their land. @METI_JPN Is this what you call “quality infrastracture”? #STOPFINANCINGBATANG https://youtu.be/0IaRB2ywO88


Activists from Solidarity of Justice for Batang Community wear ghost costume as they hold a protest in front of Japanese Embassy in Jakarta, April 1, 2016. They rejecting the plan on construction Batang coal power plant in Batang, Central Java.

Sample email text to JBIC

Mr. Hiroshi WATANABE, Governor, CEO, Japan Bank for International

Dear Mr. Watanabe,

I [or your organization’s name] am deeply disappointed by the JBIC’s decision to agree to the loan of US $2.052 million for PT Bhimasena Power Indonesia (BPI) for the Batang coal-fired power plant in Central Java, Indonesia.

There has been many concerns over this project in terms of human rights violations, climate change impacts and other social and environmental issues.

The international community agreed to keep temprature rise below 2 degrees aiming for 1.5 at Paris last year to stop dangerous climate change. To achieve this goal, we must move away from all fossil fuels, especially coal, now.

Also, local communities are suffering from unfair land grabs, human rights violations, and other threats. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Indonesia, an independent government agency, has issued several recommendations to the project proponents.

JBIC must recognize these human rights violations and responsibly withdraw finance for this project, as the Batang project is clearly in violation of JBIC’s own Guidelines.

I urge JBIC to reconsider this decision and instead invest in renewable energy solutions for a better future for all.

Yours sincerely