Japan exports air pollution to countries including Bangladesh

Air Polluted Countries
Photo: Grab from Greenpeace report

Greenpeace in a report today alleged that Japanese government is exporting air pollution by financing polluting coal fired power plants overseas, imposing a great heath risk to the people of those countries including Bangladesh.

Those Japanese funded coal-fired power plants, emit far more toxic air pollutants than would be allowed in Japan, the international environment watchdog said in the report published today.

Read: Japan funds toxic coal plants abroad emitting more pollution than domestic plants – Greenpeace analysis

The public finance agencies have invested 16.7 billion USD in coal plants between January 2013 and May 2019 isestimated to cause a total of 148,000 to 410,000 avoidable premature deaths over the typical 30-year operation period of those plants, reveals a joint Greenpeace Southeast Asia and Greenpeace Japan report, released in Singapore.

Though Japan has developed technology to reduce emissions and using that in their own coal fired plants, but they are financing for inferior technologies in other countries, the report adds.

Photo: Grab from Greenpeace report

Japan has a stricter guideline than World Health Organization (WHO) set recommendations for air pollution. But those power plants Japan is financing would breach WHO set guideline for air pollution.

The report titled 'A deadly double standard: How Japan's financing of highly polluting overseas coal plants endangers public health' states Japanese-financed coal power plants to emit up to 13 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx), 33 times more sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 40 times more dust than those plants built in Japan, the report states.

Most of those power plants located in South and Southeast Asian countries were financed by Japanese public finance agencies JBIC, JICA and NEXI. They have invested total USD 16.7 billion from January 2013 to May 2019 in coal plants of whichIndonesia is the major recipient, 42 percent, Vietnam 20 percent and Bangladesh 18 percent.

Approx. 3.3 million people would be exposed to dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels from the emissions of the power plants, when operated to local emission limits. The most premature deaths due to Japanese investments are projected to occur in India (160,000) and Indonesia (72,000), followed by Vietnam (36,000) and Bangladesh (14,000) over the 30 years of coal power plant operations due to long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution

Japan is funding for Matarbari coal fired power plant in Bangladesh.