UN Climate Summit 2014:
Calling on Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, World Leaders
To Present Strong Positions on Climate Change Measures
September 22nd, 2014
President Mie Asaoka
On September 23rd, the UN Climate Summit hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will be held to raise political ambitions for a meaningful global legal agreement by COP 21 in 2015. This is an opportunity for world leaders to show their political position on climate change issues. Through political commitment from the more than 120 world leaders expected to participate, climate change negotiations can be sped up in order to alleviate the harmful effects of climate change that we are facing.
The effects of climate change are no longer a problem of the distant future. Drought, heavy rain and high summer temperatures already plague parts of the world. Delaying efforts to adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions is no longer a luxury we can afford. On September 21st, tens of thousands of people around the world attended the People’s Climate March in a global call for action. In New York, arguably the largest march ever took place, helping to draw attention to the upcoming Climate Summit.
At the Climate Summit, world leaders have to announce ambitious targets, make strong commitments and take action.
In Japan, talks for mid-term reduction targets have not even started. Thus, Japan will participate in the Climate Summit with no concrete plan to fight climate change. This April, the government released its “Basic Energy Plan” which put nuclear and coal-fired thermal energy as its base-load energy leading us to believe that not only did the government fail to reflect upon the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident but also has no desire to tackle climate change. As it stands, Japan glaring deviation from global trends to fight climate change is a huge step backwards.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will attend the summit, should make a decisive commitment to tackle climate change, put forth strong measures for Japan and depart from our development-oriented path which fails to prioritize important climate change issues.
We urge Prime Minister Abe to implement the following.
- Immediately start discussions for a mid-term target for 2030 which aims for greenhouse gas reductions of at least 40-50% (compared to 1990 levels) and review domestic policies.
- Prompt restriction of coal-fired thermal power as a domestic energy source and end financial support for coal projects abroad
- Promote renewable energy and energy efficiency rather than nuclear energy
- The above points should be implemented in a transparent and democratic fashion
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