Japan cut its greenhouse gas output by 3.1% in fiscal year 2014, the Ministry of Environment announced Friday, the first time the nation has recorded a drop in emissions since the 2011 Fukushima disaster forced a shut-down of most of its nuclear power industry.
The country emitted a total 1.364 billion tonnes of CO2e over the fiscal year, which ended Mar. 31, 2015, the ministry’s final estimates showed.
Emissions fell 44 million tonnes year-on-year as a result of increased use of renewables and improved energy efficiency, which led to a drop in energy demand, the ministry said.
The data mean Japan has achieved more than a tenth of its Paris pledge to cut emissions 26% below 2013 levels by 2030, but its 2014 emissions were still 7.3% above 1990 levels.
Japan is expected to gradually bring its nuclear power plants back online over the next several years, but has also planned the construction of more than 40 new coal-fired plants over the next decade.
A draft climate action plan released last month relied heavily on technology innovation but did little in terms of requiring electricity generators and manufacturers to rein in emissions.
By Stian Reklev – email@example.com