In less than one year Japan is set to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – and officials are already worried about the deadly heatwaves that have been happening with increasing frequency.
In 2018, 1,032 people died in Japan from an unprecedented heatwave with temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F). According to research by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the heatwave “would never have happened without anthropogenic global warming.”
While the Japanese government and several Olympic sponsors are taking steps to ensure the health and safety of athletes and spectators, these measures won’t protect the Japanese public and the wider world – including many of the world's poorest people – from the extreme weather events associated with the climate crisis.
Japanese officials need to get to the root cause of this problem and end support for coal.
The Japanese government and Olympic sponsors Mizuho, SMBC, and Tokio Marine are among the world’s biggest backers of coal. Japan is planning to build more coal-fired power plants than any other developed nation and is one of the world’s largest providers of public finance for coal power overseas.
Japanese megabanks Mizuho and SMBC are the 1st and 4th largest lenders to coal developers globally. Tokio Marine, one of the world’s leading power and energy sector insurance companies, has recently come under fire for its coal support.
With the global spotlight focused on Japan with the Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese government and Olympic sponsors have a huge opportunity to demonstrate real climate leadership and end their support for coal.
One of the three Tokyo Olympics pillars is to “pass on a legacy for the future.” Ending support for coal and investing in renewable energy both within Japan and overseas would be a truly honorable legacy to pass on to future generations.
Please send a message urging the Japanese government and Olympic sponsors Mizuho, SMBC, and Tokio Marine to stop exacerbating the climate crisis and end their support for coal.