On the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the US:
Japan must further strengthen its 2030 GHG reduction target to 50% or more
April 22, 2021
Mie Asaoka, President
The Leaders Summit on Climate, hosted by the United States, was held online on April 22- 23 with the participation of major economies’ national heads of state, municipal governments, as well as representatives of numerous companies. This summit was planned by the US with the aim of strengthening the climate ambition of major industrial countries by the time of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C within reach. The United States organized the summit with the intention to rejoin the Paris Agreement with the transition to the Biden administration, to inform the world of a change in policy direction from the previous administration, and to accelerate efforts to tackle global climate change.
After having completely turned its back on global cooperative climate change efforts for the past four years under the Trump administration, the US, the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter, has decisively taken a proactive stance, and as a result, the international momentum for strengthening actions toward COP26 is growing substantially.
In response to this move, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced in advance of the summit that Japan will enhance its current 26% GHG reduction target for 2030 to 46% and “continue to take on the challenge of reaching a height of 50%.” We welcome the strengthening of action, which represents a move to take responsible action with other major developed countries to avoid the climate crisis. However, this target is still not sufficient to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C. In light of Climate Action Tracker’s analysis that a GHG emissions reduction of 62% (compared to 2013 levels) in 2030 by Japan is necessary to meet the 1.5°C target, Kiko Network requests the government strengthen its target to a 60% reduction or more.
Other countries have significantly increased their 2030 GHG emissions reduction targets, including the United Kingdom, which raised its 58% reduction target set five years ago to 68% last year, and now has further increased it to 78% (all compared to 1990 levels). Additionally, the EU as a whole has raised its 2030 reduction target from 40% to 55% (compared to 1990 levels), and the nation hosting the summit, the US, announced it will reduce its emissions by 50-52% by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels). Although each country has chosen its prefered base year, in all cases the GHG emissions reduction target is more than 50%. In contrast, Japan’s 2030 target does not reach the level of halving emissions, and there is no rationale to explain its consistency with the 1.5°C Paris goal. It is necessary for Japan to further raise its 2030 target as we approach COP26.
Following the announcement of this target, we request the government to:
- Further raise the target by the time of the G7 Leaders’ Summit, and advance domestic discussions to submit an NDC with a 2030 target of 60% GHG emission reductions (compared to 2013 levels).
- In the revision of the energy mix, commit to the phase-out of coal-fired and nuclear power plants by 2030, and increase renewable energy sources to 50% or more in order to achieve further reductions.
- Pursue deeper reductions in the energy sector as well as other sectors (including non-energy related GHG emissions and gases other than CO2).
- Strengthen policy measures to support GHG reductions, such as carbon pricing.
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[Press Release] On the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the US:
Japan must further strengthen its 2030 GHG reduction target to 50% or more (PDF)
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