April 22, 2021

350.org: Japan’s new emission target misses Paris Agreement mark

The government of Japan announced a reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions by 46% in 2030 compared to that of 2013 — the year in which they recorded their highest emissions.  This announcement comes ahead of the upcoming Leaders Summit for Climate today, where US President Joe Biden is expected to call on participating countries to announce their ambitious goals for the climate crisis.
350.org Japan Finance Campaigner Eri Watanabe issued the following statement:

“This goal is highly insufficient if we want to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the warming of the Earth to 1.5 degrees. I strongly urge the Japanese government to set a more ambitious target with a minimum of a 62% reduction from 2013’s emissions. This is based on research published by Climate Action Tracker.
This target may be higher than previously at a 26% reduction, but if we look closely – this is a numbers game1. Compared to the United Kingdom’s and European Union’s targets, which are 78% in 2035 and 55% in 2030 respectively compared to emission levels in 1990, Japan’s target is much lower.
When the Paris Agreement was signed, we agreed that there were “common but differentiated responsibilities” across the world. As the world’s fifth-highest emitting country with a large amount of historic emissions, Japan owes the world a carbon debt. This makes it necessary for our country to reduce as much carbon emissions as possible — or more than half of 2010’s emissions in order to be a solution to the climate crisis. We must start urgently setting bold and ambitious targets, and strengthening the measures necessary to achieve them. 
One of the policies urgently needed is a rapid phase out of coal infrastructure. Another to direct Japanese banks to rule out fossil finance. Japan is the biggest lender to the global coal industry, and they must cut the flow of money to reduce their emissions.
Only if Japan government walks the talk, can they show climate leadership.”

Editor’s note:
1The calculation for 46% reduction in 2013 has not yet been published. For reference, 45% reduction in 2013 is a 41% reduction compared to 2010 and a 39% reduction compared to 1990 according to the calculation by Kikonetwork (in Japanese): https://www.kikonet.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/53edd1aee1c8a8f31ebec6ded67371f5.pdf