Japan wins ‘fossil of the day’ award after Prime Minister Kishida pledges to keep coal power at COP26

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 2, 2021. (Adrian Dennis/Pool Photo via AP)

GLASGOW, Scotland (Mainichi) — An international environmental organization announced Nov. 2 that it had chosen Japan as the recipient of its “Fossil of the Day” award after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan would continue to use existing thermal power plants during the summit meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 on the same day.

The Climate Action Network (CAN), a global network of more than 1,500 environmental NGOs in more than 130 countries, presented Japan with the award — given to countries and others that have maintained a negative stance toward climate control — to reason that Prime Minister Kishida announced a policy to conserve thermal energy by relying on unestablished technologies while stating a “zero emissions” premise. It awarded two other Fossil of the Day awards to Norway and Australia.

The network pointed out that while phasing out coal-fired thermal power is a priority issue for this COP, Japan will continue to use coal-fired power plants beyond 2030, and that Prime Minister Kishida had delusional dreams that thermal power generation using ammonia and hydrogen can serve as “zero-emission thermal power”.

The network said critically that the technology of using hydrogen and other sources in thermal power generation is still underdeveloped and expensive, and that such an attempt would jeopardize the achievement of the goal. of the Paris Agreement to limit the average increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Alden Meyer, senior associate of the international think tank E3G, which is participating in the COP26 conference, pointed out that hydrogen production requires energy, and that while Prime Minister Kishida did not mention the source of the Hydrogen, if produced from fossil fuels, is problematic.

(Japanese original by Mayumi Nobuta, Department of Science and Environmental News)

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