Japan’s government has sharply reduced its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while importing fossil fuel remains a necessary evil since the country has put on hold its nuclear power production after the March 2011 Fukushima accident.
Japanese officials said on Friday that Japan is now aiming to cut emissions by 3.8% from fiscal 2005 levels by 2020 versus the ambitious 25% cut from 1990 levels that the Democratic Party of Japan, which was voted out from power in 2012, was promising.
Shinzo Abe came back to power last year, in December, and promised during his campaign at that time to restart nuclear power plants in Japan. However, the issue did not advance too much since Abe was elected Japan’s Prime Minister, given the politically-delicate nature of the situation with public opposition to nuclear power still running high.
“We made this target while we discussing our future energy policy, including nuclear power,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
“The number is tentative. We will revise it after the new energy plan is decided,” said Masami Tamura, Director of the climate change division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He did not say when Japan will make its definitive emission cut target.
At Friday’s announcement about the country’s anti-global warming policies, Tokyo also vowed to provide about $13 billion in loans and grants to developing countries to adopt measures to cut carbon emissions, according to the international press.