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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 November 12 - 18  > Abe lags behind in international efforts to cut GHG emissions
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2014 November 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Abe lags behind in international efforts to cut GHG emissions

November 14, 2014
Akahata editorial (excerpt)

The United States and China have announced their respective targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The two nations combined are responsible for 40% of the world’s GHG emissions. Prior to this announcement, the European Union set its reduction target. However, Japan, the fifth largest CO2 emitter, has yet to set its goal. The Abe government’s irresponsible attitude toward the climate change issue should be called into question.

International efforts to curb carbon emissions were carried out based on the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, but the U.S. refused to ratify the protocol and Japan seceded from the second commitment phase which was to commence in 2013. Negotiations are now underway to create a new framework starting in 2020. The 20th session of the Conference of Parties to the convention is scheduled for December. The member nations are required to declare their reduction targets by early 2015, and then the new framework is to be decided in the 21st session of the conference at the end of the year.

The EU set a target to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 40% from the 1990 level by 2030. The U.S. issued a 26-28% reduction target from the 2005 level by 2025. China promised to stop the increase of its GHG emissions by 2030. Even though their targets may be inadequate, these countries at least showed positive attitudes toward making an international agreement to tackle climate change.

Japan, which has the fifth largest share of GHG emissions, lags far behind in this area. The Abe government has yet to reveal Japan’s reduction target after abandoning the former one, which was made while Abe’s party was out of power, on the grounds that all nuclear reactors suspended their operations in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima meltdown accident.

It is totally unrealistic for Japan to promote nuclear power generation now as a means to reduce GHG emissions. By encouraging the further development of energy-saving technologies and renewable energy sources, Japan should work to contribute to creating a world without nuclear power and a world seriously committed to fighting against climate change.

Past related article:
> 138 factories emit half of Japan’s greenhouse gases [July 30, 2014]
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