Amidst the shifting landscape of global climate action, a poignant narrative unfolds in the underground coal mines of Vietnam. As Japan moves to shutter its coal mines in pursuit of ambitious climate goals, the enduring legacy of coal mining persists in the depths of Vietnam’s coal-rich soils. In a scene reminiscent of tradition and transition, seasoned Japanese miners impart their knowledge to a new generation of workers, their expertise interwoven with the coal mining industry of Vietnam.

The presence of Japanese miners in Vietnam’s coal mines underscores the complexities and contradictions inherent in the pursuit of sustainability. While Japan commits to phasing out coal to mitigate rising temperatures, it simultaneously invests in coal projects abroad, perpetuating a cycle of dependence on fossil fuels. This juxtaposition highlights the tension between economic interests and environmental imperatives, as coal mining communities grapple with the implications of a declining industry.

As coal-fired power plants emerge alongside renewable energy initiatives, Vietnam navigates a path towards a greener future while confronting the realities of its reliance on coal. The enduring legacy of Japanese training programs in Vietnam underscores the global demand for fossil fuels, even as the world strives to transition to renewable energy sources. In this visual narrative, the contradictions of Japan’s climate goals are laid bare, prompting reflection on the intricate challenges of the global energy transition.

Subterranean Bonds

Shot on assignment for Bloomberg