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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 September 24 - 30  > Japan should work for a world without nuclear power and tackle global warming
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2014 September 24 - 30 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
editorial 

Japan should work for a world without nuclear power and tackle global warming

September 25, 2014
Akahata editorial (excerpt)

Leaders of around 160 countries on September 23 gathered at the UN Climate Summit to accelerate discussions about a new framework starting in 2020 to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The new framework is to be finalized at the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change in December 2015. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo took part in the summit, but he merely stated that Japan will draw up its GHG reduction target “as early as possible.”

It is a pressing need to tackle global warming. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly argued that in order to limit the increase of the average temperature within two degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial revolution level, GHG emissions need to be reduced by 40-70% by 2050 from the 1990 level.

The European Union reportedly plans to announce the target of a 40% cut by 2030 from the 1990 level. The United States says it will announce its goal by March 2015. The Japanese government which is postponing setting a target is falling behind in the global efforts to tackle climate change.

In the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which went into effect in 2005, Japan promised to reduce its GHG emissions by 6% from the 1990 level over five years from 2008. The Tokyo’s strategy to achieve the goal, however, was to replace fossil-fuel-burning power plants with nuclear power stations.

In the wake of the 2011 meltdown accident at the Fukushima plant, all nuclear reactors in Japan stopped operations and the Japanese government found it difficult to set up a new GHG reduction target.

The need for the Japanese government is to stop depending on nuclear power generation. Nuclear power plants not only cause catastrophic damages in a case of an accident, but also consume a vast amount of energy for their construction and discourage the development of renewable energy sources.

An IPCC report pointed out that “a variety of barriers and risks exist”, regarding nuclear power. Japan should contribute to making a world free from nuclear power and further negative climate change by promoting renewable energy and energy-saving technologies.

Past related articles
> Japan’s effort against climate change needed, but without nuclear power [April 28, 2014]
> Reduce energy and ‘develop’ society: environment researcher [January 6, 2014]
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