Ja­panese PM to pledge 26% green­house gas cut


Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe said Tues­day he would pledge a 26 per­cent cut in the coun­try’s green­house gas emis­sions, ahead of a global sum­mit on cli­mate change this year.

Abe also promised to take a “lead­ing role” in the in­ter­na­tional drive to re­duce pol­lu­tants blamed for global warm­ing.

“This is an am­bi­tious tar­get which is no way in­fe­rior to other coun­tries in­ter­na­tion­ally,” Abe said in a cli­mate change cabi­net meet­ing Tues­day.

The plan “re­flects the Abe ad­min­is­tra­tion’s goals of low­er­ing re­liance on nu­clear power as much as pos­si­ble, with ef­forts in en­ergy sav­ing and the in­tro­duc­tion of re­new­able en­ergy to the max­i­mum ex­tent pos­si­ble,” he said.

The pledge, which uses 2013 as the base year, has been dubbed un­am­bi­tious by en­vi­ron­men­tal groups since it was first pro­posed in early May.

Tokyo- based cam­paign­ing group Kiko Net­work has pointed out that 26 per­cent cut from 2013 works out at just 17 per­cent cut from 1990 lev­els.

“I will take a lead­er­ship role to­wards re­al­iza­tion of a fair and ef­fec­tive frame­work in COP21, ex­plain­ing Ja­pan’s po­si­tion on the emis­sion tar­get at the Group of Seven (G-7) sum­mit” in Ger­many open­ing this week­end, Abe said.

The Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 COP21 con­fer­ence in Paris faces the dif­fi­cult task of reach­ing con­sen­sus among the 196 par­ties in­volved.

At the core of the deal would be a ros­ter of na­tional pledges for re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions — the in­vis­i­ble pol­lu­tion from fos­sil fu­els that drives cli­mate- dam­ag­ing tem­per­a­ture rise.

Public Com­ments

So far, only 38 par­ties have put their car­bon pledges on the ta­ble, ac­cord­ing to the web­site of the U.N. Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change.

Among the ma­jor emit­ters, sub­mis­sions have been made by the United States, the num­ber two emit­ter, the num­ber three emit­ter the Euro­pean Union, and Rus­sia, ranked fifth, but not by Australia, Brazil, In­dia, Ja­pan, or China, the world’s No.1 emit­ter.

“Af­ter so­lic­it­ing public com­ments, we will for­mally sub­mit the plan in mid- to late-July to the United Na­tions,” said Yoshi­hide Suga, Chief Cabi­net Sec­re­tary.

Abe’s nod came af­ter Tokyo pro­posed a fifth of its elec­tric­ity should come from nu­clear power gen­er­a­tion, de­spite wide­spread op­po­si­tion in the af­ter­math of the Fukushima dis­as­ter.

With none of the na­tion’s nu­clear re­ac­tors in op­er­a­tion, the tar­get in­di­cates an in­ten­tion to bring most, if not all of them, back on­line.


Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, cen­ter, and his cabi­net mem­bers wear­ing sum­mer ca­sual shirts at­tend a cli­mate change meet­ing at his of­fice in Tokyo on Tues­day, June 2.

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