Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, says the country is planning full carbon neutrality by 2050.
– Responding to climate change will no longer limit economic growth. I assure you that we are trying to achieve a carbon-free society, Suga promised in his speech to the Japanese Parliament on Monday.
Will the goal succeed?
Earlier, Japan announced that it would reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and then aim for full carbon freedom “as soon as possible.” The Guardian.
The new plan mentioned by Suga is in line with last year’s European Union announcement, which also said it aims for full carbon neutrality by 2050. China has announced its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2060.
However, there are doubts about Japan’s ability to reach the target, as the country is dependent on coal as well as other fossil fuels.
According to Japan’s current plan, approved in 2018, 22 to 24 percent of the country’s energy use will come from renewable sources, 20 to 22 percent from nuclear power, and 56 percent from fossil fuels.
Criticism of nuclear power
In his speech, Suga, who replaced former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in mid-September, did not elaborate on how Japan intends to zero carbon emissions. However, he said he would speed up research and development of coal recycling, for example, and promised to change Japan’s long dependence on coal power.
Japan is currently the world’s fifth largest emitter of CO2. It has been working to reduce emissions since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. The accident forced the closure of dozens of nuclear reactors, only some of which could have been restarted.
Greeanpeace of Japan welcomed Suga’s plans largely with joy. However, it criticizes the use of nuclear power, as it states that nuclear power does not belong to a green or sustainable future.
– If we want to achieve zero emissions, we must significantly increase the capacity of renewable energy sources with the goal of 50% renewable electricity by 2030, Director of Greenpeace Japan Sam Annesley said in a statement.