Japan targets carbon neutrality by 2050

Source : https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2153478-japan-targets-carbon-neutrality-by-2050


Japan has set a target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, bringing forward its timeline and committing to a specific date for the first time.

The country's new prime minister Yoshihide Suga pledged to achieve a decarbonised society by 2050. Tokyo previously set a goal to become carbon neutral at the earliest possible date in the second half of this century, after reducing GHG emissions by 26pc against 2013-14 levels by 2030, and 80pc by 2050.

Today's announcement comes after China last month set a 2060 date to achieve carbon neutrality and means the region's two biggest economies — and the second- and third-biggest national economies in the world behind the US — have now set out specific timelines to achieve net zero emissions.

Suga, who took over from his long-serving predecessor Shinzo Abe in September, made the commitment in his first general policy speech to an extraordinary session of Japan's parliament, the diet, which runs from 26 October to 5 December.

The government plans to meet the tougher 2050 target by reforming policies related to the coal-fired power sector, as well as by promoting the restart of nuclear reactors while keeping safety as its first priority, Suga said. Tokyo will also back green innovation through digitalisation, as well as by further developing technologies for next-generation batteries for solar power and carbon recycling.

Japan will increase the ratio of renewable energy sources by as much as it can, Suga said.

Today's declaration is likely to affect a review of Japan's long-term energy policy. Discussions began this month on the review, which could be completed next year. The energy policy review is generally carried out every three years.

Japan in 2015 set a 2030 target to generate 20-22pc of its power from nuclear, 22-24pc from renewable sources and 56pc from thermal fuels. The most recent policy review in 2018 added a 2050 goal to make renewables the main power source, while maintaining the 2030 power mix target.

By Motoko Hasegawa

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