The tragic Fukushima nuclear accident showed the world how dangerous and unsustainable nuclear technology is. As affected people continue to suffer, it’s clear that nuclear is not an option for the Japanese people any more. ECO was encouraged to see the rapid expansion of renewable energy since the disaster thanks to the feed-in-tariff introduced in 2012. The focus on energy efficiency by individuals and companies also proves that there is still plenty of potential for energy efficiency improvements in Japan.
That’s why ECO is astounded by the news that there are now plans for the construction of 25 new coal-fired power plants (totalling 13,640MW) between 2016-2027. They would emit more than 82 Mt CO2 per year. Shockingly, most of these plans were conceived after the Fukushima accident, and it is expected that more plans will come.
Energy transition is an urgent need in all countries, and it is key to get the direction of the transition right, Japan! Hint: when we talk about energy transition we are talking about transitioning away from, not towards, high-carbon technology. Coal a the dirty fossil fuel. The IPCC warns that if we don’t shift investments away from high-carbon infrastructure, future emission reductions will be difficult.
ECO hopes that Parties have read the IPCC report, but in case some important details got lost in translation: coal is not needed as an alternative to nuclear. The Japanese government’s own research shows that Japan has large renewable energy potential.
ECO has learnt that Japan is finally starting discussions about its own INDC today. Here’s our friendly tip: stop the coal expansion. It would help you put forward an ambitious reduction target by March 2015.