TOKYO – Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. said Thursday it will divest from coal-fired power plant projects from May in line with global moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The decision came after rival Mizuho Financial Group Inc. said Wednesday it would stop financing coal power plant construction. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. already stopped such financing last year.
Sumitomo Mitsui said earlier this month it will invest or lend up to 10 trillion yen ($93 billion) for projects to achieve sustainable development goals over 10 years from fiscal 2020 starting April.
In fiscal 2017, Japan was dependent on coal for 33 percent of its total electricity generation, with liquefied natural gas accounting for 40 percent and oil 8 percent, according to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy.
Japan’s high reliance on fossil fuels and its support for new coal power projects in developing countries have drawn international criticism, while other developed nations such as Britain and France plan to scrap coal-fired power plants.