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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 8 - 14  > Japan should have no room left for coal under Paris climate agreement
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2017 November 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

Japan should have no room left for coal under Paris climate agreement

November 8, 2017

Akahata ‘current’ column

The Paris climate agreement was adopted at the COP21 in 2015. The agreement, which took effect last year, requires all parties to take measures to limit the rise in average global temperature to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels. The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) started on November 6 in Bonn, and member countries of the Paris agreement will discuss various issues including rules necessary to make the agreement workable.

Late last month, the UN compiled a report which states that even if all member nations of the Paris deal achieve their goals of GHG emission reduction, they will fail to sufficiently curb climate change and the average global temperature will likely go up by more than three degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

The UN report points out that in order to bring global warming under control, the vital thing is to do away with coal-fired thermal power generation, the most carbon-intensive energy source among all energy sources. The report states that the nearly 6,700 coal-fired power plants worldwide must stop operating in stages.

The UN report points an accusing finger at Japan, in which as many as 40 new coal-fired thermal power plants are planned to start operations. If these plants are completed and go into operation, they will emit large amounts of carbon dioxide for decades. This situation reflects the Japanese government’s energy policy promoting this type of energy source.

On the day when COP23 began in Bonn, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shizo in Tokyo met with U.S. President Donald Trump, who decided to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement. Abe did not utter a word about the climate crisis during the summit meeting. The need now is to create a government willing to seriously tackle global warming.
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