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Daily News Analysis

Japan will achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050

29th October, 2020 International Relations

Context: Japan will achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, outlining an ambitious agenda as the country struggles to balance economic and pandemic concerns.

  • Japan intends to make a sustainable economy a pillar of his growth strategy and “put maximum effort into achieving a green society.”
  • The European Union and Britain have already set similar targets for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, and China recently announced it would become carbon-free by 2060.
  • Japan previously targeted a 80% reduction by 2050.
  • Japan need to shift away from fossil fuels to counter climate change as an opportunity rather than a burden.
  • Japan’s current energy plan, set in 2018, calls for 22-24% of its energy to come from renewables, 20-22% from nuclear power and 56% from fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas.
  • Progress toward reducing reliance on fossil fuels has been hindered due to the prolonged closures of most of Japan’s nuclear plants after the meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant due to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the northeastern Tohoku region.
  • Japan is planning to reverse its basic energy plan for 2030 and 2050.
  • The 2050 emissions-free target would require drastic changes and likely prompt calls for more nuclear plant restarts.
  • About 40% of Japan’s carbon emissions come from power companies, and they must use more renewable sources of energy while stepping up development of technologies using hydrogen, ammonia and other carbon-free resources, experts say.