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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 May 11 - 17  > JCP Iwabuchi: Gov’t policy of operating 40 coal-fired thermal units even as late as 2050 runs counter to global trend
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2022 May 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Iwabuchi: Gov’t policy of operating 40 coal-fired thermal units even as late as 2050 runs counter to global trend

May 11, 2022

The government intends to continue using 40 coal-fired thermal units at maximum even in 2050. This was revealed during questioning by Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Iwabuchi Tomo at a House Economy and Industry Committee meeting on May 10.

The government seeks to enact a bill to revise the Energy Conservation Act in the current session of the Diet. Under the bill, the government proposes enacting a policy designating ammonia as “non-fossil energy” and co-firing ammonia with coal in coal-fired units in order to convert coal-fired power plants into “carbon free” ones. However, the production process involving ammonia emits a large amount of CO2.

Iwabuchi pointed out that this policy contradicts the government-set target of reducing CO2 emissions by 42% by 2030. She also pointed out that the government plans to introduce ammonia co-firing in 40 coal-fired units by 2050, adding that the government stance to stick to coal-fired power generation even as late as 2050 goes against international trends.

In response, Economy and Industry Minister Hagiuda Koichi insisted that new technology for cutting the emission of CO2 during ammonia production will be introduced without delay.

The JCP lawmaker referred to the Glasgow climate pact adopted at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). She pointed out that this climate deal only mentions carbon capture along with utilization and storage (CCUS) as technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. She said, “Japan’s own interpretation of the Glasgow accord will not be accepted by the international community.”

An official of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency in reply justified the government policy of introducing a system using ammonia for continuous use in coal-fired power generation by saying that the Glasgow climate accord does not require each nation to use a method specified under the pact to reduce CO2 emissions.

Past related article:
> JCP Kasai: It is unacceptable to revise Energy Conservation Act in order to continue with coal-fired power generation [ April 6, 2022]

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