Joint Press Release by Japanese NGOs

Japanese Government should withdraw the 2020 emission increase target and resubmit an ambitious reduction target!

15. November, 2013 in Warsaw, Poland

Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), Jiro Adachi
Kiko Network, Kimiko Hirata
WWF Japan, Naoyuki Yamagishi
Citizens’ Alliance for Saving the Atmosphere and the Earth (CASA), Mitsutoshi Hayakawa
Friends of the Earth Japan, Yuri Onodera

Today, the Japanese government announced its 2020 emission reduction target as 3.8% reduction compared to its 2005 level. In 2005,Japan’s greenhouse gas emission was 7.1% above the 1990 level. This means that this newtarget is an increase of 3.1%
compared to the 1990 level. The target therefore, is not a reduction target, but an emission increase target.

Japan had announced emission reduction of 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 at the UN Climate Change Summit in September 2009. To abandon the 25% emission reduction target and put forward an increased target is a betrayal to the international community.

One of the most important issue at this Climate Change Conference (CO19) in Warsaw is to address the gap between the mitigationpledges of Parties and the emission reduction needed to keep the average global surfacetemperature rise to below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels. Parties are negotiating at the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) to increase their ambition levels. To announce an emission increase target in this context will throw cold water into this discussion. This reverse in course has a dampening effect on this negotiation process.

In March 2011, three reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station caused a meltdown, which was assessed as a level seven accident of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). The background of the announcement of this increased target is that Japan has been relying for its climate measures on nuclear power promotion.

However, three separate studies by Japanese NGOs show that Japan can achieve much more emission reductions compared to 1990 levels by 2020 with energy efficiency measures and renewable energy promotion without depending on nuclear. The energy scenario by WWF indicates 25% reduction of energy-related emissions. Even if nuclear is all replaced with fossil fuels by 2020, 18-22% emission reduction is still possible.

According to the analysis by Kiko Network, 26% reduction is possible with energy efficiency and renewable energy promotion as well as fuel switch. CASA developed its own integrated macroeconomic andenergy balance model. The results of the “CASA 2020 Model” shows that even ifwe stopped all the nuclear power plants immediately, a 25% reduction is possible andit will not result in any negative economic effect.

At COP18, Japan declined to commit to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. If Japan goes forward with an emission target increase at this time, Japan will be seen negating responsibility to tackle climate change.

The Japanese government should withdraw the 2020 emission increase target, reconsider what it can contribute and how it can address climate change, and resubmit an ambitious emission reduction target.