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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 December 12 - 18  > Japan needs to fulfill its responsibility to implement Paris accord rules at COP24
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2018 December 12 - 18 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan needs to fulfill its responsibility to implement Paris accord rules at COP24

December 18, 2018

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) ended on December 16 in Katowice, Poland, after adopting rules to implement the Paris climate agreement. The latest climate summit marked a significant step forward by outlining a framework for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and by laying the foundation for making the international accord operational. Each member country needs to follow the rules and exert serious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while moving beyond its original reduction target.

COP24 participating nations successfully agreed on the rules of implementation, having been pushed by a special report published in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC report, titled “Global Warming of 1.5 C”, confirms that the average global temperature has already increased by 1 degree Celsius from the pre-Industrial Revolution level, which has led to an increase in extreme weather events, a rise in the sea water temperature, floods, and heat waves all across the world. It also acknowledges that even an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius is hazardous and that scientists agree on the need to cut carbon emissions to effectively zero by around 2050. The report influenced heavily the discussions at COP24.

Signatories to the Paris Agreement are required to review and declare anew their reduction target by 2020 when the framework of the agreement will take effect. Although adopted documents of COP24 do not use strong language to call on the Parties to make a stronger commitment, these documents encourage them to decide on their carbon reduction target based on the results of the “Talanoa dialogue”, which is aimed at adding momentum to global efforts to combat climate change. “Talanoa” is a Fijian word meaning “open discussion”. The COP24 documents propose that the “Global Warming of 1.5 C” report be reflected in future discussions.

In June 2019, the G20 summit meeting will take place in Japan and climate change will be one of the major items on the agenda. In addition to Japan’s energy policy promoting coal-fired thermal power generation, which goes against the global trend toward a non-carbon society, its 2030 emission reduction target, which is the lowest among major economic powers, will be called into question. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s government should reconsider its backward-looking stance and work to fulfill its responsibility to implement the Paris Agreement.

Past related articles:
> COP24 tasked with creating rules to achieve Paris climate goals [November 30, 2018]
> Japan should respond to new UN climate report’s call for cuts in carbon emissions [October 11, 2018]
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