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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Japan’s proposed greenhouse gas emissions target ‘concerning’

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The world expects Japan to act decisively to reduce emissions by using its leading-edge technology and implementing climate policies. We are concerned to see reports today that the Japanese government proposing to cut greenhouse gas emissions by only 20 per cent by 2030.

While reports differ on the baseline date for reductions (indications are it will be either 2005 or 2013), it should be noted that for both years, Japan’s emissions were much higher than the internationally recognised base year 1990 or 2010.

The target of 20% reduction compared to 2013 is equivalent to only 10% reduction compared to 1990 levels.  A 20% cut below 2013 levels by 2030 would be unacceptably unambitious, given Japan’s historical responsibility and its capacity to drive action on climate change. 

Japan should pledge much higher levels of action on the domestic front. It also has a responsibility to provide financial, technological and capacity building support for vulnerable developing countries.

It’s a shame that such a highly technologically advanced country like Japan believes it is OK to decrease its emissions by only 10 per cent over 40 years. We believe Japan can cut their emissions by 40 per cent to 50 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 (or 2010) levels. [3] [4]. Since the inception of its feed-in-tariff scheme in July 2012, Japan has added around 15GW of renewables so far.  The country finally started to tap into its renewable potentials, which had been left unexploited for ages.

The world expects Japan to act decisively to reduce emissions by using its leading-edge technology and implementing climate policies, not disguising its unambitious target by changing the base year to 2013.

Japan already disappointed the world by slashing its 2020 target to a 3.8 per cent cut from 2005 levels at COP19.  If Japan continues to disappoint the world by its unambitious target for 2030, they would simply be an obstacle rather than the driver for the success of COP21, and will lose its all negotiating power towards Paris. 

We strongly urge the Japanese government to come up with “fair and ambitious” target for 2030 before it finalises its climate plans for submission to the UN.

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