We translated the report Sumitomo Corporation’s Dirty Energy Trade: Biomass, Coal, and Japan’s Future, published by Mighty Earth, a global campaign organization that works to protect the environment, focusing on the big issues: conserving threatened landscape like tropical forests, oceans, and solving climate change.
While utilizing our knowledge of terminology accumulated through many years’ works in the area of climate change and energy, we also referred to credible sources in translating all the new terms and names of companies and specialized agencies that appeared frequently in the report. When submitting our translation, we made sure to share the information with the client.
We paid particular attention to numbers, checking the cited sources, and suggested accurate and clear ways of writing in Japanese. For example, when the report said something “increased by XX %” while the source said it was “X.X times more” in addition to the percentage, we included both numbers in our translation.
Aiming for smooth communication, we did all exchange of emails and comments in English with the person in charge of the report who was a native English speaker.
According to this report, Japan’s energy policies result in the development of new coal power plants, and also allow existing inefficient coal power plants to keep running by burning biomass together with coal, a practice known as cofiring. The report depicts Japan as the world’s major consumer of biomass, which had not been addressed much before, and reports in detail how Japan’s energy policies are contributing to the destruction of valuable ecosystems such as rare wetlands and forests around the world.
In order to realize a decarbonized society, it is crucial that all businesses exit from or phase out all kinds of coal business, including coal development, construction of new coal power plants home or abroad, and investments in these projects. International investors consider investments in such projects as a risk; continuing with these businesses might result in damaging their corporate value as well as their corporate sustainability.
Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that Covid-19 has an zoonotic source: an ecological origin in bat populations, while environmental organizations and experts point out that the virus spreading to humans from an animal host has much to do with climate change and environmental destruction as well (Tokyo Shimbun, April 9, 2020, in Japanese).
We strongly expect a radical change of course in Japan’s energy policies in order to stop the degradation of the environment, which is the foundation of our society and economy.
New Investigation: Sumitomo Corporation’s Dirty Energy Investments Highlight Japan’s Failure to Act on Climate (Mighty Earth)
Media release (Mighty Earth, December 10, 2019, in Japanese)