Mizuho Financial Group Inc, Japan’s third largest bank by assets, said on Thursday it would stop financing new thermal coal mining projects from June 1, as global investors and environmental groups urge banks to unload coal-related exposure.
The move comes after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced last month that the country aims to nearly double its target for cutting carbon emissions, leading to rival banks tightening their lending policy in coal. read more
While Mizuho had previously said it would not lend funds for ‘mountaintop removal’, a technique that involves using explosives to expose coal seams, it is haulting financing any project for thermal coal mining, according to its updated policy. The bank didn’t mention metallurgical coal.
Mizuho is the first major Japanese lender to make such a pledge, while bigger rivals Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) (8306.T) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (SMFG) (8316.T) have only ruled out mountaintop removal so far.