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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 23 - May 6  > Japan’s effort against climate change needed, but without nuclear power
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2014 April 23 - May 6 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Japan’s effort against climate change needed, but without nuclear power

April 28, 2014
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expressed concerns about the use of atomic energy by stating in its latest report that “a variety of barriers and risks exist” regarding nuclear power generation. Japan needs to take measures against global warming without depending on atomic energy.

The report, which the UN organization for the assessment of climate change issued earlier this month, stresses that in order to avoid devastating effects on humans and the natural environment, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission needs to be reduced by 40-70% from the current level by 2050. It shows that prevention of global warming is a pressing need for the very survival of the human race.

Japan failed to sufficiently carry out measures to reduce its GHG emissions as it has been depending on nuclear power and putting less emphasis on turning to renewable energy sources.

The Abe Cabinet last year abandoned Japan’s initial target of emissions reduction, a 25% cut from the 1990-level by 2020. As an excuse for this, the government cited the increased dependence on thermal power generation because of the ongoing suspension of all reactors in Japan after the 2011 Fukushima accident.

The cabinet approved a new energy plan on April 11. It stressed that nuclear power generation does not emit CO2, indicating that the restart of offline reactors is essential to fulfill Japan’s responsibility to cut emissions.

Given the damage caused by the severe accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, the nuclear-dependent energy policy is no longer acceptable. The IPCC report states that regarding nuclear power, “a variety of barriers and risks exist”.

Climate change experts, including Tohoku University Professor Asuka Jusen, and a former government negotiator on the issue jointly released a statement in January which states, “Nuclear power is not the answer to climate change mitigation.”

With a firm determination to create a Japan without nuclear reactors, the government should do its utmost to promote energy-saving technology and renewable power sources.
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