June 2nd, 2015

PRESS RELEASE:?Japan’s INDC draft is neither ambitious nor fair

Kiko Network
Mie Asaoka, President

Today Japan presented their INDC draft established under the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration’s “Global Warming Prevention Headquarters”. This draft presents a concocted greenhouse gas reduction target by using FY 2013 as a base year that is “on the same level as Europe and the US”. The cabinet confirmed the target, which is an 18% reduction compared with 1990 levels proposed by the governmental council on April 30th with no further consideration.

The target shows little consideration for the staggering, adverse effects that climate change can cause. Japan has failed to live up to its responsibilities as the 5th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Despite the disappointing INDC draft, Japan claims that it is at the top among developed countries in terms of (1) greenhouse gas emissions per GDP, (2) per capita emissions, and (3) nation-wide energy efficiency. Also noted in the draft is that the target is “fair”, only using the indicator of “marginal costs. In addition, the draft describes that the target is “consistent with the long term emission pathway to achieve the 2 degree Celsius goal by 2050 and that Japan’s long-term greenhouse gas reduction target to ‘slash emissions by half by 2050 and reduce overall emissions from developed countries by 80%’. However, the reasons behind these claims are unknown. This draft target shows that Japan hasn’t joined global efforts in facing dangerous climate change issues in the eye. Instead, they appear rather inward looking. We can’t help but point out that this makes Japan a huge disappointment on the international front.

As part of the international community, it is Japan’s responsibility to put forth a fair and ambitious target
Japan should aim for at least a 40% reduction compared with 1990 by 2030.

  • The remaining carbon budget that would still allow us to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial times is slight. Countries are urged to make ambitious targets to make bold reductions in emissions. The draft target is not in line with the 2 degrees Celsius target making it very inadequate.
  • In regards to equity, given the variety of indices (“adequacy”, “responsibility”, “capability” and “development needs”) for reduction targets summarized in a proposal by CAN-Japan, Japan needs to cut emissions by 30-40% by 2025 compared to 1990 levels and 30-60% by 2030. An 18% reduction target is extremely lacking.
  • As a pathway toward an 80% cut by 2050 that the Japanese government decided on, an approximately 40% cut by 2030 is inevitable. Otherwise, we would need to make even more severe cuts in the future while burdening future generations with a harsh environment.

Japan needs to introduce policies that improve saving energy & efficiency, expand renewables, decide to phase out of coal, as well as reduce their reliance on nuclear power

  • The proposed energy mix, which is deeply linked to climate change measures, consists of 20-22% nuclear, 22-24% renewables, 26% coal, 27% LNG and 3% oil by 2030. Japan’s continued reliance on both nuclear and fossil fuels stagnate climate change measures.
  • The majority of the Japanese public supports a nuclear phase-out. Excessive dependence on nuclear has delayed policies introduced to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has actually led to rises in emissions. Breaking away from nuclear, reforming the old-fashioned power system and shift to renewables can lead to substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The public comment system opened on June 3rd and will continue until July 2nd. Kiko Network requests the government to use this opportunity to take into account the above points and keep the public comments in mind to move toward a stronger reduction target.



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