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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 10 - 16  > Japan should respond to new UN climate report’s call for cuts in carbon emissions
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2018 October 10 - 16 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan should respond to new UN climate report’s call for cuts in carbon emissions

October 11, 2018
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published a special report that the world’s average temperature has gone up by about one degree Celsius from the pre-industrial revolution level and that if global warming progresses at the current pace, the average global temperature will be increased by 1.5 degrees by 2052. Pointing out that a rise of 1.5 degrees will cause serious impacts on natural environments and a sea level escalation with the devastation of most coral reefs, the report calls for the reduction of CO2 emissions. The report indicates that urgent measures to tackle climate change are essential to protect the future of planet Earth. Governments across the world should exert serious efforts to combat climate change.

IPCC has a membership of 195 nations and consists of scientists from many countries. It is a UN organization which collects and evaluates scientific research regarding climate change.

As a measure to keep the temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees, the IPCC report proposes that the world’s annual CO2 emissions be cut by 45% from the 2010 level, indirectly urging countries to make their reduction targets more ambitious. Pointing to the need to slash CO2 emission to substantially zero by 2050, the report proposes that the share of renewable energy sources in the world’s electricity output be raised to 70-85% and that carbon-intensive coal-fueled thermal power generation be eliminated.

The report provides scientific grounds on which parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change will discuss future measures to be taken at the COP 24 meeting scheduled to be held in December in Poland.

Japan’s reduction target is set at only a 26% cut in 2030 compared to the 2013 level, falling far short of the level necessary to limit a temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees. Japan should have a much higher target. Currently, in Japan, more than 30 coal-fired thermal power plants are planned to be constructed and the share of renewable energy sources stands at less than 20%. The Abe Cabinet in July approved its basic energy plan which runs counter to the demand of the times and designates nuclear power and coal-fired thermal power as baseload energy sources. The Abe government should retract the basic plan, change its energy policy, and strengthen measures to address climate change.

Past related articles:
> Sendai residents collecting signatures to stop coal-fired thermal power station operations [July 27, 2017]
> Gov’t should stop promoting coal-fired power generation [May 16, 2017]
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