The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is yet another reminder that one of the few potentially positive effects of the Tohoku disaster was a shakeup and rethink of Japan's energy policy.

Electricity supply shortages in the wake of the 2011 disaster pushed the country to re-evaluate its energy use and to search for alternatives to nuclear energy.

The momentum may have fallen off slightly during the past year, but a new report from Australia's Climate Commission indicates positive moves by China and the United States, the two largest emitters of carbon pollutants.