Japan to set new carbon emissions target by November

January 25, 2013

After many month of dancing around the issue, and the election of a new government last month, Japan will revise its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by November when it completes a review of the current 25 percent reduction goal, which is now officially conceded to be out of reach.

“We are not able to set precise figures yet, because the future of nuclear power hasn’t been decided,” Japan’s Minister of the Environment, Nobuteru Ishihara, told reporters after a cabinet meeting yesterday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the current target of cutting emission to 25 percent 1990 levels by 2020 25 is impossible to achieve, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Japan’s current emission reduction goal was set by the Democratic Party of Japan shortly after coming to office in September 2009, and was predicated on increasing the share of Japan’s electricity generated by nuclear power to 50 percent. The Fukishima disaster has made that plan completely unrealistic but Japanese officials have dithered about actually coming out and saying so.

The new Liberal Democratic Party government has also indicated that it will review the previous government’s somewhat tepid commitment to phase out the use of nuclear power.