Japanese trading house ITOCHU announces coal exit

Posted at February 16, 2019 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Japanese trading house ITOCHU announces coal exit

Japanese trading house ITOCHU has pledged to stop investing in new coal-fired power plants as well as thermal coal mines.

It is part of the company’s efforts to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help tackle climate change.

ITOCHU, with an equity market capitalisation of $29 billion (£22.6bn), is to continue divesting its existing thermal coal mine investments in Australia and Indonesia – the organisation has sold its interest in the Rolleston thermal coal mine held through its subsidiary, ITOCHU Minerals Energy Australia.

It said in a statement: “ITOCHU has already established and announced our sustainability action plans.

“We recognise that, among other things, our coal-related business must be one of the issues which we have to promptly address as its impact on our business and our surrounding stakeholders will be significant and we therefore hereby commit ourselves, as our policy, to neither develop any new coal-fired power generation business nor to acquire any new thermal coal mining interest.”

Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said the latest move by ITOCHU looks like an “important endorsement” of Japan moving away from coal financing.

He added: “What happens in Japan is critically important to the global coal industry and for Australia, given 44% of all Australian thermal coal is exported to Japan alone. The string of Japanese coal exit announcements over the last eight months suggests Japan is belatedly doing a pivot on climate change.

“The momentum away from financing coal is building.”

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