(adds comments from green group Kiko on risk to target from new coal plants)
Japan is considering pledging a minimum 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 for the global Paris deal, Japanese media reported Thursday, citing unnamed government sources, although sources disagreed on what the base year would be.
Nikkei reported Japan would target a roughly 20% emissions cut by 2030 from 2013 levels, while the Japan Times said it would seek a minimum 20% cut from 2005.
In absolute terms, the difference between the two targets would be more than 100 million tonnes of CO2e in 2030. The 2013 option would be the least ambitious, as emissions in 2013 were record high following the nuclear shutdowns.
Both targets would be significantly weaker than the former government, which had pledged a 25% cut from 1990 levels by 2020.
Last month, UK Climate Change Minister Ed Davey wrote several Japanese ministers asking them to set a 40% target for 2030.
According to the Japan Times, the Ministry of Environment is trying to lift the target to 25%, but is facing resistance from the more powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The Nikkei report, which said Japan’s INDC would be published at the June G7 summit, said officials would aim for 23-25% of electricity to come from renewables by 2030, nuclear energy 20% and fossil fuels around 55% – a cleaner energy mix than proposed by Keidanren earlier this week.
That target might be at risk if Japan brings online all new coal plants that are planned or under construction, green group Kiko Network warned.
Japan has 43 coal plants in the pipeline, with the capacity to raise the nation’s emissions 10% from 1990 levels, some 127 million tonnes of CO2e per year, Kiko said in a statement.
According to Kiko, the new coal plants alone would emit half of Japan’s total carbon budget in 2050 if the government plans to meet its long-term target of cutting GHGs to 80% below 1990 levels by mid-century.