Japan aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10 billion tons by 2050

Kyodo

In a bid to combat climate change, the government hopes to achieve practical use of new technologies that would help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to about 10 billion tons by 2050, a draft of the strategy showed Wednesday.

Seeing climate change as a top priority issue, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered his government to craft a plan designed to strengthen the country’s technological development and enable it to spearhead global efforts for drastic greenhouse gas emission cuts.

The key features of the envisioned strategy include introducing technologies such as those making use of more efficient and cheaper solar and storage batteries.

Japan’s move comes at a time the international community is stepping up efforts to combat global warming, following up on a landmark deal adopted in December in Paris to hold global average temperature rises to “well below” 2 C above pre-industrial levels.

To achieve the goal, global emissions in 2050 must be reduced by more than 30 billion tons from current projections, according to the secretariat of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The envisioned five-point strategy on energy and technological innovation will be discussed by a panel of experts under the Cabinet Office. The final version is expected to be compiled in mid-April at the earliest, government sources said.

One of the measures in the strategy is to use big data, or massive volumes of data collected, as well as artificial intelligence to optimize energy systems such as the power-supply demand. Doing so would eliminate wasteful use of energy.

Another area Japan is looking into is power generation. The idea is to use a special crystal structure known as perovskite and make solar power cost competitive with other sources of energy such as large thermal power plants, according to the draft.

Japan also aims to develop batteries with high storage capacity, which would bring down costs to less than 10 percent of the current levels and make it possible for electric vehicles to drive more than 700 kilometers on a single charge, the draft said.

Japan hopes to produce massive hydrogen from renewable energy sources such as wind power, the draft showed.

As part of energy conservation measures, the government aims to develop new materials for lighter airplanes and vehicles, and make use of methods such as artificial photosynthesis, which can capture carbon dioxide emissions to convert them into useful resources, the draft said.