Home > Emerging Asia activists throw JERA a curveball

Emerging Asia activists throw JERA a curveball

19 May 2023

This week, at a major Central League baseball game, activists from Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines called out JERA, a massive polluter and sponsor of the league, for spreading its dirty, fossil fuel-based technologies across Asia.

JERA, and its shareholder companies, TEPCO and Chubu, as well as their investors, need to be worried about their reputation in the face of local opposition.

Action in the stadium
Action in front of the stadium

The activists who were at the baseball game attended by thirty thousand people  urged JERA to stop its fossil fuel expansion.

JERA’s sponsorship of the Central League appears to be an effort to be a wholesome, family friendly company but the public doesn’t know that this polluter produces the equivalent to 15% of Japan’s annual carbon emissions and is expanding dirty fossil gas across Asia. JERA has 11.6 gigawatts of new imported gas power planned for Bangladesh and Vietnam alone, and wants to keep its dirty coal projects in Japan and Indonesia running as long as possible, using fossil gas-based fuels such as ammonia mixed with coal.

The activists who attended the game are experiencing the serious consequences of the soaring prices of fossil fuels in their country and JERA is building projects that will damage their chances at energy security.  They also work with communities who have been displaced from their homes, whose lands have been polluted and whose livelihoods have been destroyed due to fossil fuel developments and climate change.

Here are testimonials from the activists outside the game: 

Video of Dwi Sawung Rukmono, WAHLI (Indonesia)

Sawung has worked with farming communities in Cirebon, Indonesia, for many years, in relation to an under-construction coal power project in which JERA is invested. These community members have been displaced by this projects and do not want the coal power project on their land. Recently, the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has indicted the former Cirebon regent in relation to a series of bribery and money laundering, including cases related to this coal power project. JERA continues to be part of the project despite corruption and bribery as well as human rights concerns. 

Video of Bristy Sarmin, CLEAN Bangladesh

Bristy from Bangladesh is calling on JERA to end its plans for polluting gas projects in Bangladesh and back a clean, renewable energy future instead. JERA is proposing to build a new 2.4 gigawatt import based LNG based power project in coastal Bangladesh, and also 22 per cent owner of Summit Power, a major gas company in Bangladesh. These projects risk Bangladesh’s energy security, relying on imported gas.

Video of Gerry Arances, CEED (Philippines)

JERA’s trying to delay a clean transition in Southeast Asia – JERA is a major investor in AboitizPower Corporation, a major power utility in the Philippines that has some plans to transition its coal power projects to renewables. But JERA is pushing co-firing with ammonia in these projects, meaning that the life of these coal projects, their harmful emissions and pollution, would be prolonged. AboitizPower is also planning a 150MW LNG power plant in the province of Cebu. 

JERA, TEPCO, Chubu and their investors are risking their reputations through this buildout.  In addition to this reputational damage, the LNG-heavy path that JERA, TEPCO and Chubu are pursuing are a financial risk as well. See more information from Asia Shareholder Action on the shareholder proposals seeking further disclosure from TEPCO and Chubu about their transition plans. 

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