Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions drop to record low in March 2021


Smoke is emitted from a factory in the Keihin Industrial Zone in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, October 22, 2008. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (JAPAN)

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TOKYO, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 5.1% to a record low in the 2020 fiscal year that ended in March 2021, officials revealed on Friday. government figures, as energy demand and industry activity slowed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the seventh consecutive annual decline in Japan, but comes as a report by the United Nations weather agency showed global concentrations of greenhouse gases hit new highs last year. Read more

Japan’s emissions in the year 2020 fell to 1.149 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, from 1.211 billion tons the previous year, to their lowest level since fiscal 1990 , when it began compiling data on greenhouse gas emissions, according to the preliminary environment ministry. the data showed.

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In April, the world’s fifth-largest carbon emitter raised its climate target, pledging to cut emissions by 46%, down from its previous target of 26%, from 2013 levels, to 0.76 billion tonnes by 2030. The latest figure represents a reduction of 18.4%. % from 2013 levels.

“We can hardly say that the decline in 2020 was entirely the result of our initiatives against global warming as it reflected weaker economic activities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Yoshiteru Sakaguchi, director at the Ministry of Health, told reporters. the environment.

“We need to move forward with various measures at a much faster pace to reach 46%,” he said.

Japan’s emissions rose after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut down nuclear power plants and increased reliance on fossil fuels, but have fallen since peaking at 1.408 billion tonnes in 2013.

Only eight reactors are currently operating while many others are still in the process of relicensing under the stricter safety standards imposed after the Fukushima disaster. Read more

In the full year 2020, renewables accounted for 19.8% of electricity generation of 1,001 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), up 1.7 percentage points year-on-year.

Nuclear power accounted for 3.9%, down 2.3 percentage points, while thermal power fueled by oil, coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) accounted for 76.3%, down up 0.7 percentage points, according to data from the Ministry of Industry.

According to Japan’s latest energy mix target for 2030, renewables are expected to contribute 36-38%, nuclear 20-22%, fossil fuels 41%, while new hydrogen and ammonia account for 1%.

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Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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