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Japan among worst-performing nations in tackling climate change, think tank says

Kyodo

Japan has one of the world’s worst records in tackling climate change, think tank Germanwatch said at U.N. climate talks in Paris, citing the nation’s promotion of coal-fired power plants.

In a study of 58 nations, it assessed Japan as the fourth-worst performing country, just below South Korea. The ranking is contained in the latest Climate Change Performance Index.

The index, released Tuesday, also cited Japan’s lack of an effective emissions trading mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas output.

The top three countries were left intentionally blank. This meant Japan was placed 58th, down three notches from the previous year.

It came ahead of only Australia, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.

Denmark, which ranked fourth, was deemed the best performer because of its implementation of renewable energy. It was followed by Britain and Sweden. The world’s top three greenhouse gas emitters, China, the United States and India, placed 47th, 34th and 25th, respectively.

The index, co-prepared by environmental group Climate Action Network Europe, is based on factors such as heat-trapping gas emissions, the use of renewable energy, and overall climate policy.

Japan has been criticized for planning a number of coal-fired power plants, which emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.