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Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions rose just 3.9% on Nuclear Shutdowns in last year

Please read the articles below. The Bloomberg article says that they need nuclear to meet the targets and the Point Carbon article says they will meet it anyway!

And Japan needs to follow Germany for further cuts. (In my opinion – Arclight)

By Chisaki Watanabe – Dec 5, 2012 10:12 AM GMT


Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions for the year ended March 31 rose 3.9 percent from the prior year on the increased use of fossil fuels in power plants after the Fukushima nuclear disaster shut all but two atomic reactors.

Excluding so-called carbon credits that can be used to offset greenhouse gas output, emissions increased to 1.307 billion metric tons in the 12 months or 3.6 percent higher than 1990 levels, according to Ministry of the Environment figures released today.

Under the Kyoto Protocol targets set in 1997, Japan committed to cut greenhouse gases by 6 percent from 1990 in the term from 2008 to 2012 when the first Protocol target period expires. Japan’s announcement today came as talks among envoys from more than 190 nations in Doha, Qatar, to negotiate cuts in greenhouse gas emissions seemed headed for a stalemate.

The ministry said that taking into account the absorption of carbon dioxide by forests and credits earned for offsets outside the country, Japan cut emissions in 2008 through 2011 by an average 9.2 percent.

“It is not impossible to achieve the goal” of a 6 percent cut, Kentaro Doi, a ministry official in charge of climate change, said at a press briefing in Tokyo.

Nuclear power plants, which emit virtually no greenhouse gases, provided about 30 percent of Japan’s electricity before the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The government shut down all 50 of the nation’s reactors for safety checks with 48 still offline due to mass public demonstrations against restarts.

As a result, Japan nine atomic utilities were forced to turn to gas-, oil- and coal-fired power plants to keep the world’s third-largest economy running. The utilities face a bill of about 6.8 trillion yen ($82.7 billion) for fuel this fiscal year, almost double that in the 12 months before the disaster.

And a different angle on this story here..

After nuclear crisis, Japan set to meet goal to cut greenhouse emissions

05 Dec 2012 12:52
TOKYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Japan’s nuclear disaster and weak economy have put Asia’s second largest economy on track to meet its goal under the U.N. Kyoto Protocol to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a government official said on Wednesday.

The combination of energy saving and weak economic activity after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011 have capped growth in emissions from fossil fuel power generation.

It now looks set to meet its goal by the target date of March next year, Kentaro Doi, an environment ministry director in charge of emissions, told a news conference.

“We understand that meeting the target is fairly possible unless there is something extraordinary,” Doi said.

Japanese greenhouse gas emissions slumped in the first two years of the Kyoto accord due to economic recession.

But they then rose 3.9 percent in the last fiscal year ended March, preliminary government data showed on Wednesday. They had also risen 4.2 percent in fiscal 2010/11.

However, taking into account U.N. emission offsets the government and companies have bought from abroad and planned offsets from planting trees at home, Japanese emissions on average fell 9.2 percent a year from 1990/91 levels over the four years, according to the environment ministry’s estimate.

Japan, the world’s fifth biggest greenhouse gas emitter, is obliged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent from 1990/91 levels to 1.186 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent a year on average over the five years to March 2013.

Below is a history of Japanese greenhouse gas emissions in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to final government data except for 2011/12 preliminary data. U.N. emission offsets transferred to the government by power companies, the country’s main emitters, are based on a Reuters survey.

2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
GHG emissions 1,282 1,209 1,258 1,307
Yr-on-yr pct change -6.4 -5.6 +4.2 +3.9
Emissions reduced domestically* 44.0 47.0 49.9 n.a.
Power firms’ emission offsets** 63.59 52.25 56.55 29.51

* Japan’s plans to meet the Kyoto target include emissions offsets for planting trees at home as well as U.N. carbon credits purchased from abroad by the government and companies. Cumulative credit buying by the government totalled 97.559 million tonnes by March 2012.

** Japan’s 10 major power companies have transferred a total 201.9 million tonnes of U.N. credits to the government’s account.

By Risa Maeda

“….In the past year, the country’s CO2 emissions fell by 2.4% compared with 2010, according to figures released by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The decrease, say experts, has largely come through a push towards renewable energy that has accelerated since the country began its move away from nuclear power.

In the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced usingrenewable energy rose from 20% to 25%, bringing the country closer to its targets of 35% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

“We are on a good track in regard to the increase in the share of renewables,” said Brigitte Knopf, deputy head of research at the sustainable solutions project at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Pik). “This is a story of success, though some challenges are still ahead.”

According to figures released by the government agency Germany Trade and Invest, 38% of the electricity produced by renewable energy during that period was through wind power, and almost 16% from solar…..”

December 5, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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