Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sensitive issue: climate money for coal-fired power plants – Reuters

Climate protection needs money. With the UN climate finance poorer countries are supported in their efforts in the fight against global warming. 100 billion dollars (about 80 billion euros) pledged in 2020 to developed countries. But the promise has not been specified and the use of the funds do not always meet the expectations of climate change, as the example of Japan shows.

The government in Tokyo awarded money out of climate finance, so that Japanese companies three coal-fired power plants in could build Indonesia – anything but a contemporary climate projections. Japan, however, argues the new power plants are much more efficient and thus cleaner than the old one.

On the climate conference began on Monday in Lima and the allocation of climate finance is on the agenda. Currently lacks a consistent framework and a monitoring organization that clarifies what exactly should be financed.

coal-fired power plants are producing twice as much carbon dioxide as plants operating on natural gas. Fischer, who live near the coal power plant Cirebon in Indonesia, complain that there are fewer and fewer mussels, crabs and fish.

Japan which to is one of the largest contributors to climate finance, dismisses the accusations. “There are countries that can not afford a method other than the use of coal,” said the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Takako Ito. “For these countries, we want to offer the best technology to reduce carbon dioxide.”

Christiana Figueres, General Secretary of the Secretariat of the UN Climate Convention acknowledges that it is aware that the Japanese coal-fired power plants in Indonesia funds from the Climate Initiative funded. It states, however, that there is no reason to support the construction of such power plants. “The unabated use of coal has no place in the future energy system,” she says. There is a very clear trend towards investment in renewable energy.

Even the first introduced the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has only vague guidelines for the allocation of its funds. Board member Jan Cedergren says he does not expect that the Fund supports fossil fuels. But a decision to the contrary had not yet been taken.

The GCF is to promote climate protection in developing countries to a far greater extent than other funds. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will pay 750 million euros in the fund.

An analysis of 300 out of the climate financing to support projects shows that Japan has been the only country right money for the construction of coal-fired power plants. The country has not (JBIC) built with a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, a $ 729 million expensive thermal power plant in East Java.

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A comparison of the energy and climate policies in 24 states.

On the list of 30 largest projects is another thermal power plant, this time in the western part of the Indonesian island of Java. The building was also funded 214 million from the JBIC. Co-owner of the power plant is the Japanese Marubeni Corp., which was condemned by the US Department of Justice this year, 88 million fine. The company is accused of bribing Indonesian government officials.

Japan’s climate finance also includes a $ 15 million loan for a heavy investment in Indramayu in West Java and a dozen smaller coal-fired power plants in India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Only some of them can be found in the official documents of the UN again. Japanese government officials say that there is no particular reason for it. “We have nothing to hide or to hide,” reads from the State Department.

However, climate experts say, even the latest Japanese technology is not sufficient to meet the climate change targets. The only technology that it is possible, would be underground facilities, aspirate the carbon dioxide and store it there. This technology is very expensive and not yet ready for the market.

Located near the power plant Cirebon complain fishermen from the village Kanci Kulon by lower catches. Daud, a 50-year-old fisherman says he usually begins 45 crabs per day. Now there are only ten. “I think that’s because of the coal sludge,” he said.

Staff of Cirebon power plant reject these allegations. They say the system is safe and no sludge were to succeed in the sea. Heru Dewanto, a vice president of the power plant, admits that there may be problems “for the 200 to 300 mussel farmers or fishermen” give. However, the plant-sufficient and a half million homes with electricity.

Edi Wibowo, environmental engineer in the power plant, says that emissions from 856 to 875 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour amount. In comparison, when using oil are between 600 and 700, with natural gas 400 and in renewable energies such as wind and sun almost zero grams of CO2 on emissions

Unlike Japan have other industrialized countries such as the United States, financing of coal plants prohibited by public funds. Germany still encourages such systems, however, they are not paid from the climate fund.

Even many environmental organizations was not aware that Japan will finance the construction of coal-fired power plants with climate funds. “Climate finance is a big mess. This must be clarified, “Karen Orenstein required by the organization Friends of the Earth. “It’s a shame that these funds go to fossil technologies. This is counter-productive. “


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