Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 4.0 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, totaling the equivalent of 1,308 million tons of carbon dioxide, according to a report released by the Environment Ministry.
The increase was attributed by the ministry to the more intense use of fossil-fired thermal power plants after the Fukushima power plant shut down almost all of Japan’s nuclear power reactors due to the disastrous earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
The country’s greenhouse gas emissions were the biggest since fiscal 2008 when emission reduction requirements under the Kyoto Protocol started, the international press reports. According to the protocol, Japan has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2012 from the fiscal 1990 level.
Japan is expected to clear the target, as the country’s greenhouse gas emissions decreased 9.2 percent by fiscal 2011 once forests’ absorption of those gases and purchases of emission rights were taken into account.
Emissions from households increased 9.8 percent due to the increase in thermal power generation although power-saving efforts were made in the sector.
Greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbon, perfluorocompounds and sulfur hexafluoride. Those gases cause greenhouse effects and rise the global temperature.