Japan Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fall in FY2019 for 6th Straight Year

Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fell in fiscal 2019 for the sixth straight year to reach their lowest level since comparable data became available in fiscal 1990, partly due to the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute, the Environment Ministry said Tuesday.
The equivalent of 1,213 million tons of carbon dioxide was emitted in the year through March 2020, down 2.7 percent from a year earlier to rewrite the previous low recorded in fiscal 2018, according to preliminary data.
The ministry attributed the drop to declines in production in the steel and other industries affected by the U.S.-China trade war, and expansions of renewable energy.
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, Japan aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent in fiscal 2030 compared with fiscal 2013.
With total emissions falling 14 percent in fiscal 2019 from fiscal 2013, the ministry believes the reduction target is attainable if the current pace of decline in greenhouse gas emissions continues.
However, the ministry thinks Japan cannot achieve its longer-term goal of cutting emissions to zero on a net basis by 2050 “unless all sorts of measures are taken.”
There have been calls for steps such as raising the fiscal 2030 emissions-cut target in order to meet the longer-term goal, which is on a par with pledges by other economies including the European Union and Britain.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to establish a fund of 2 trillion yen ($19.2 billion) for firms developing green technologies as part of efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and spur economic growth.
In fiscal 2019, electricity consumption by Japan’s steel and machinery industries fell along with a decline in their exports to China, affected by trade disputes between the world’s two largest economies.
Meanwhile, the share of electricity generated in Japan using renewable sources rose to 18 percent on the back of an increase in solar power.
Nuclear power generation accounted for just 6 percent as many nuclear plants remained offline under stricter safety regulations implemented after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.
The ministry said emissions in fiscal 2019 saw almost no impact from the coronavirus outbreak, but called for the need to monitor the situation.

About Parvin Faghfouri Azar

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