Marubeni takes a step forward to reduce its coal usage

Marubeni takes a step forward to reduce its coal usage

/ Renewables / Tuesday, 25 September 2018 11:52

The Japanese trading house Marubeni has announced a partial divestment of its activities in coal, a highly polluting energy source in which it will stop investing.

The group expressed in a statement its readiness to “contribute to the fight against global warming.”

“As a global player in the energy sector, Marubeni will reduce the volume of its greenhouse gas emissions from its electricity generation portfolio”, by “halving by 2030 capacity coal plants” in which the company has interests in (currently 3 gigawatts).

In addition, the company is committed to no longer investing in new projects - “a general principle” which may however be subject to exceptions - and will instead focus on renewable energies.

“Given that Marubeni is one of the largest groups” in the industry, “this announcement is global in scope,” said Tim Buckley, director of the Sydney-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

“It's a hard blow for the coal industry,” he said, hoping other companies will follow suit, such as South Korea's Posco, Germany's Siemens and US's General Electric (GE).

Japanese environmental organizations also welcomed in a statement “a big step forward”, while calling on Marubeni to go further by canceling all current projects.

Japan, ranked among the worst countries dealing with climate action, generously finances coal plants abroad and also invests in its own territory to compensate for the shutdown of many nuclear reactors after the March 2011 Fukushima accident.

Coal represents 37% of the world's electricity production, but it is one of the most fossil raw materials that emits the most of carbon dioxide (CO2), threatening the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures of 2°C included in the global agreement of Paris signed in 2015 against global warming.

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