E3G is an independent climate change think tank with offices in London, Brussels, Berlin and Washington DC, as well as associates in countries that include Japan. The organization has become more involved in Japan over the last few years.
E3G has successfully encouraged government decision-makers to scale up funding for the energy transition and cease public financing for fossil fuels. It provides secretariat support for a number of international energy transition initiatives such as the Powering Past Coal Alliance and the Energy Transition Council. Hanna Hakko, a Senior Associate with E3G, spoke with Japan NRG about its aspirations for Japan’s energy space.
E3G has become one of the most prominent environmentalist voices globally in recent years. The think tank covers a lot of ground and topics. But when did the team start specifically looking at Japan and what drew your attention?
Given Japan’s size and influence in the world, understanding its stance on climate and energy has always been important for E3G. We have had dedicated, Japan-focused staff in the country since 2018. One focus has been the need to end coal power in order to align with global climate goals. We publish a constantly updated tracker of OECD and EU countries’ progress on coal phaseout. Another product that has received attention in Japan is our earlier G7 Coal Scorecard series, comparing how these major economies have progressed in their transitions away from coal. Unfortunately, Japan has consistently fared poorly in these rankings.
We have also worked with other civil society organizations to help end international public finance to coal projects, an area that was once dominated by China, Japan and South Korea. A breakthrough was finally achieved in 2021 when the three countries announced their respective decisions to end overseas coal finance.