Japan pledges 26% GHG reductions by 2030

Published 04:15 on July 17, 2015  /  Last updated at 20:04 on July 20, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, Climate Talks, International, Japan  /  No Comments

Japan on Friday submitted its INDC to the UN, promising a 26% drop in GHG emissions by 2030 from 2013 levels, with some 50-100 million tonnes of CO2e of cuts coming from its bilateral offset scheme.

Japan on Friday submitted its INDC to the UN, promising a 26% drop in GHG emissions by 2030 from 2013 levels, with some 50-100 million tonnes of CO2e of cuts coming from its bilateral offset scheme.

The final plan was unchanged from the draft version released on Apr 30.

The economy-wide target would keep Japan’s emissions in 2030 at 1,042 million tonnes of CO2e, equal to 26% below 2013 emissions, or 25.5% below 2005.

The plan said Japan would meet its target by increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity supply in 2030 to 22-24%, and nuclear power to 20-22%. About 56% of supply would come from fossil fuels, primarily coal and LNG.

It also assumed the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), Japan’s bilateral offset programme, will achieve emission reductions of 50-100 million tonnes of CO2e in total between now and 2030, that will be counted towards the 2030 target.

The JCM has gotten off to a slow start, with currently approved projects only capable of generating 500 tonnes worth of cuts annually, although a number of new projects have recently been added to the pipeline.

In the INDC, Japan also included plans to cut emissions internationally through exporting technology.

“As part of international contributions other than the JCM, worldwide emission reduction potential in FY 2030 through the diffusion of leading technologies by Japanese industries’ actions is estimated to be at least 1 billion t-CO2,” it said.

But just as when the draft plan was released, observers were quick to criticise the target, saying it lacked ambition and would help put the world on track to missing the 2C target.

“As the 5th largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions with emissions per capita at levels much higher than the global average, it is unfair for Japan to propose such a weak target,” said Climate Action Network Japan.

“The target proposed today reflects Japan’s abandonment of climate change measures and only burdens future generations.”

POWER SECTOR

Meanwhile, the Federation of Electric Power companies (FEPC), which comprises Japan’s 10 biggest power producers, and a group of suppliers on Friday released its voluntary emissions plan for 2030, saying they would cut the carbon intensity of their electricity by 35% by 2030, to 0.37 kilos per kilowatt.

The plan included introducing best available technologies that would cut up to 11 million tonnes of CO2 per year, the groups said in a statement.

In addition to cleaning up their own generation capacity, they companies said they would use international mechanisms, such as the JCM, but did not specify the usage of markets beyond that.

“The FEPC still intends to rely on ‘voluntary’ action plan to achieve the target. However, with the prospect of the liberalisation of the Japanese electricity market beginning in April 2014, the grip of the industry association will be weak as newcomers enter the market, and it is not clear whether this target will be achieved,” Naoyuki Yamagishi of WWF Japan told Carbon Pulse.

“In addition, it is quite disappointing that no significant action is planned on coal. The application of ‘best available technology’ sounds great on the surface, but it still allows companies to build new coal-fired power plants,” he added.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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