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Japan plans to stipulate 80% emission cut goal by 2050

Kyodo

The Abe administration will stipulate a long-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from current levels in Japan’s next climate change plan, according to a government source.

The move follows the international climate agreement reached in Paris in December. The plan, being compiled by the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), is likely to be approved by the Cabinet before Japan hosts the Group of Seven summit in May.

The government is obligated by law to update the national plan for cutting emissions, but it has not had a new plan since fiscal 2013 partly because energy policy was thrown into disarray by the 2011 disasters, including the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Prior to the global climate talks in Paris, the administration decided on a goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent in 2030 from 2013 levels, which will be included in the upcoming plan.

But on the long-term goal of cutting emissions by 80 percent, a target upheld by previous governments, some officials have been cautious about including it in the next climate change action plan.

Under the envisioned plan, the government will seek to introduce more renewable sources while also aiming to have all households shift to more energy-efficient LED lights by 2030.

As for coal-fired plants, which emit more carbon dioxide than other energy sources, METI will set standards for their power generation efficiency and encourage inefficient facilities to be scrapped.

The ministry will also require utilities to bring the ratio of renewable energy and nuclear power combined to 44 percent or more by fiscal 2030 to prevent the percentage of non-nuclear thermal power generation from rising.