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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 August 11 - 17  > Suga gov’t should drastically revise GHG reduction target in line with latest IPCC report
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2021 August 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Suga gov’t should drastically revise GHG reduction target in line with latest IPCC report

August 14, 2021
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published its sixth assessment report, warning that the global average temperature will increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times within 20 years. This again heightened the urgency of achieving a goal indicated in the “Paris Agreement”, a global framework for keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C by the end of this century, as well as in the IPCC special report. Now is the time for each country to work to break through the crisis the earth is facing by such means as increasing targets of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The IPCC report provided five scenarios for a rise in global mean temperature based on the amount of reduction in GHG emissions. Among these scenarios, all of which state that the average temperature will hit the 1.5C threshold by 2040, the worst one forecasts the very highest emissions with temperatures increasing by 4.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

On the other hand, the very lowest emission scenario makes a projection of a 1.4C rise. In order to achieve this, however, it is necessary to realize the zero emission targets globally by 2050 and to further cut the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) slated to be held in October in the U.K. will discuss increases in each country’s GHG reduction targets and ways to strengthen and accelerate efforts to tackle climate change.

The European Union set a goal of cutting GHG emissions by 55% from the 1990 level by 2030. Britain has announced a 78% reduction by 2035 and the U.S. Biden administration established a target of cutting the emission by 50-52% from the 2005 level.

The Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide-led government in October 2020 announced a “zero emission” policy but maintained the current goal of cutting GHG emissions by 26% from the 2013 level by 2030. Facing fierce criticism that the current goal makes it impossible to achieve the “zero emission” target, the government in April 2021 changed the previous goal to one seeking a 46% cut in emissions, which is still insufficient.

The Suga government in July released a new basic energy plan in which the governmental sticks to using energies generated by coal and nuclear power plants. This runs counter to the elimination of coal-fired power generation which is vital to avoid a 1.5C increase. The need is to take a path toward realizing a carbon neutral Japan through a thoroughgoing energy saving and a drastic spread of renewals under strict environmental conservation measures. In addition, it is also necessary to increase the nation’s GHG reduction target.

Past related article:
> JCP Tamura: Gov’t should abandon coal-fired thermal power generation [July 4, 2020]
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