Japan’s energy strategy for Asia has been dubbed “a greenwashing exercise made to benefit Japanese corporate interests” by Oil Change International

Despite Japan’s new “Green Transformation (GX)” policy being approved by its Cabinet in February 2023, Oil Change International has published a report claiming that Japan’s energy strategy is merely “a greenwashing exercise made to benefit Japanese corporate interests”.

What is Japan’s new “Green Transformation” (GX) policy?

Japan’s energy strategy, the GX policy, outlines how Japan intends to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It also claims to support the energy transition across Asia.

Specifically, Japan’s government has said that it will deploy JPY 150 trillion (over USD 1.1 trillion) in public and private capital over the next ten years to overhaul industrial sectors in Japan. The country hopes to provide partner countries with Japanese technology and finance.

The strategy under GX relies heavily on the following:

  • LNG
  • Ammonia co-firing
  • Fossil hydrogen
  • Carbon capture
  • Utilization
  • Storage

Would Japan’s energy strategy actually prolong the use of fossil fuels?

Oil Change International (OCI) strongly believes that not only is the strategy a greenwashing exercise designed with corporate interests in mind, but also that it will prolong the use of fossil fuels. OCI is rejecting the GX policy, especially when it comes at a time when renewable energy is readily available, reliable, cleaner, and cheaper.

OCI argues that Japan’s energy strategy is totally inappropriate when countries need to phase fossil fuels out, not prolong them.

The OCI emphasises that communities and groups across Asia, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines, also reject “Japan’s dirty energy strategy” and are preparing to derail the policy altogether.

Japan’s dirty energy strategy under the guise of decarbonization

Japan is using diplomacy to promote the GX strategy at the G7 and within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but OCI warns that the Japanese government is not being honest. Japan want to deploy these harmful technologies right across Asia under the guise of “decarbonization.”

The OCI urges that Japan stop investing in dirty energy and unproven technologies now before it is too late.

In May 2023, Japan will host the G7 summit; in the meantime, this global power will face increasing pressure until it puts ethics and the environment over corporate interests.



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