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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 31 - August 6  > 148,000 signatures submitted to oppose construction of palm oil power plant in Miyagi
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2019 July 31 - August 6 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

148,000 signatures submitted to oppose construction of palm oil power plant in Miyagi

July 31, 2019

Seeking to stop the ongoing construction of a thermal power station fueled by imported palm oil, environmental groups on July 30 submitted 148,000 signatures to the operator and its parent company.

The activists collected signatures in Japan as well as in Indonesia and Malaysia which are well known for oil palm plantations.

A subsidiary of Japan’s major travel agency HIS is carrying out a project to construct a thermal power station in Miyagi’s Kakuda City and plans to import 70,000 tons of palm oil annually for fuel use. Under Japan’s current feed-in tariff (FIT) system which is supposed to promote renewable energy sources, the operator will be able to sell electricity to power grid operators at an advantageous rate.

The environmental groups point out that large areas of tropical rainforests worldwide are being turned into oil palm plantations. Stressing that greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of palm oil fuel is more than two times higher than that of coal, they are carrying out the signature-collection campaign to demand the cancellation of the palm oil power plant construction in order to save rainforests and protect the future of the earth.

At a press conference held after the submission of the signatures, Iinuma Sayoko of Plantation Watch said that if peat land is converted into oil palm plantations, it will emit 139 times more CO2 than before conversion.

Biomass Industrial Society Network head Tomari Miyuki said that the planned power station using imported palm oil will not benefit to the local economy in violation of requirements of the FIT law. Tomari said that palm oil power stations should not be covered by the FIT program.

FoE Japan secretary general Mitsuta Kanna criticized the current FIT system for failing to accurately assess the amount of GHG emissions.

Past related article:
> Planned construction of biomass power plant to burn imported palm oil under fire [May 21, 2019]
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