Japan may not achieve its carbon emissions target if an ambitious plan to build more coal-fired power plants moves ahead, the environment minister said, underlining Tokyo’s struggle to meet globally agreed goals to halt climate change.
Even as it champions the Paris climate agreement, Japan — the world’s fifth-biggest carbon emitter — continues its massive reliance on coal and natural gas, putting it out of step with the rest of the Group of Seven bloc and even South Korea.
The industry ministry sees coal as an important part of the country’s energy mix after the closure of nuclear reactors in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns….
“If all those plants are built, it will become a major obstacle for Japan’s 2030 target to cut emissions,” said Yamamoto.
Under the Paris climate deal, Japan pledged to trim its carbon emissions by 26 percent in 2030 from 2013 levels.
The ministry estimates that Japan’s emissions could exceed its 2030 target by 70 million tons if all the coal power plants are built.