In the face of the climate crisis, the Japanese Government had the option of showing the ambition to lead and succeed or settle for the false comfort of empty words and collective failure; however, Japan’s national contribution is by far the latest, activists say.
They believe that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe still has an opportunity to invest in a green economy, playing a role as a leader in tackling the climate crisis.
However, it seems to settle for a low goal and policies to continue financing coal, “which is taking us on the path of economic and environmental ruin. Japan must not hold back on climate action, even amid global struggles for COVID-19 and must review and strengthen the plan quickly to be in line with the Paris Agreement, “said Kimiko Hirata, international director of Red Kiko and representative of the Climate Action Network in Japan.
“It is extremely disappointing that the Japanese government has submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) without any upward revision. As a signatory country to the Paris Agreement, you should appreciate the goal indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel Special Report of Climate Change (IPCC), 1.5 degrees Celsius, that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 45 percent by 2030. “
“As the world’s fifth-largest issuer, it should shoulder its responsibility and head towards a decarbonised society, rather than setting a bad example for other countries that have been taking the reductions very seriously,” added Hirata.
While the world is gradually phasing out coal, Japan is diluting efforts and a burden to meet global goals to tackle the climate crisis.
Coal-fired power plants are losing profitability, and adhering to coal will harm not only the long-term economy in Japan, but the sustainable development of developing countries by locking them up in a high-carbon economy.
“The vast impacts of the climate crisis have already been evident and what we need now is to immediately start national debates with transparency and increase ambition, followed by concrete action,” said Takayoshi Yokoyama, leader of the 350.org team in Japan.
Naoyuki Yamagishi, leader of the Climate and Energy Group of the World Conservation Fund (WWF), considered that Japan missed another opportunity to show leadership for decarbonization, and instead sent a completely wrong signal to international society: it’s okay not to increase ambition at this crucial moment.