Abe administration OKs plan to achieve 26 percent greenhouse gas emission cut by 2030

Kyodo

The government endorsed a set of measures Tuesday to achieve its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent in 2030 from 2013 levels, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calling climate change a top-priority issue.

The plan, which also includes a long-term goal of slashing emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from current levels, was devised in the wake of a new international climate deal reached in Paris in December that obliges countries to strive to attain their national emissions reduction targets.

“Measures to deal with global warming are a top priority issue for the Cabinet. We will do our utmost to work on the issue,” Abe said during a climate change task force meeting.

He also ordered ministers concerned to compile a strategy to promote research and development for next-generation storage batteries.

Under the plan, the government will set standards for the power generation efficiency of coal-fired plants, which are the country’s major source of carbon dioxide emissions, and encourage inefficient facilities to be scrapped.

The residential sector and office building operators, meanwhile, will be urged to reduce emissions by some 40 percent by 2030 through energy-saving efforts, while the government also aims to have all households shift to more energy-efficient light-emitting diodes.

The plan will become finalized after soliciting opinions from the public.

It is expected to secure Cabinet approval before Japan hosts a summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in May, government officials said.