Emissions to drop 2 to 19% by 2020

JIJI

Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are projected to be 2 percent to 19 percent lower than in 1990 depending on the rate of nuclear power generation and energy efficiency, an Environment Ministry panel said Wednesday.

In a scenario where no nuclear power is generated, greenhouse gas emissions are projected to drop by 2 to 11 percent, according to the subcommittee of the Central Environment Council.

The estimated emission decreases, which don’t include the effects of carbon dioxide absorption by forests and international emissions quota trading, are far below the government’s medium-term target of a 25 percent reduction.

The projections are based on the assumption that Japan’s economic growth will remain low.

The subcommittee assumed three scenarios according to the degree of renewable energy introduction and the implementation of energy-saving measures.

For each case, five options for nuclear energy dependence as of 2030, ranging from zero to 35 percent, were used to estimate emissions reductions.

Greenhouse gas emissions would be slashed by 4 to 15 percent when the nuclear dependence is assumed at 15 percent, and by 5 to 16 percent with dependence of 20 percent, the panel said.

Emissions could be cut by up to 19 percent when the proportion of nuclear power use in overall energy sources is assumed at 35 percent.

Based on the estimates, the Central Environment Council will draft a set of options for reduction targets for 2020 and 2030. The targets are to be finalized by the government this summer.