Japan’s government on Thursday, July 17 2015 confirmed a 26 percent cut in emissions by 2030 compared to 2013 as its contribution to climate change negotiation in Paris later this year. The figure, which represents a mere 18% reduction from 1990 levels, is regarded as one of the weakest targets of any industrialised nation.
Ai Kashiwagi, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Japan, said: “Prime Minister Abe will fail to meet even this abysmally weak climate target, and his fantasy energy policy with its reliance on expensive and dangerous nuclear energy won’t help. While much of the world is rapidly speeding towards a renewable energy future, Prime Minister Abe is standing in the way. The failure of his energy policy will instead lock Japan into a future of massive emissions, energy insecurity, and 20th century fossil fuel dependency.”
“The Japanese government remains committed to a nuclear and fossil fuel economy, but the reality is that Japan has the potential to generate 56% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, which would reduce carbon emissions. Japan needs an ambitious, binding climate target, and an energy policy that will allow us to meet it,” said Kashiwagi.
To make Japan’s Energy Revolution real and to avoid dangerous climate change, Greenpeace and EREC demand that the following policies and actions are implemented in the energy sector:
- Phase out all subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
- Internalise the external (social and environmental) costs of energy production through ‘cap and trade’ emissions trading.
- Mandate strict efficiency standards for all energy consuming appliances, buildings and vehicles.
- Establish legally binding targets for renewable energy and combined heat and power generation.
- Reform the electricity markets by guaranteeing priority access to the grid for renewable power generators and by separating the electricity utilities from the grid.
- Provide defined and stable returns for investors, for example by effective feed-in tariff programmes.
- Implement better labelling and disclosure mechanisms to provide more environmental product information.
- Increase research and development budgets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.