Stockholm (NordSIP) – On Monday October 26th, the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, announced that Japan will become carbon neutral by 2050.
Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth, according to the prime minister, who expressed urgency regarding the need to embrace the strategy according to which proactive measures against climate change will bring about changes in the industrial structure and economic society, leading to great growth.
According to the speech, this goal is to be supported by the acceleration of the country’s digitalisation, targeted regulatory efforts, increased research and development and public spending to promote the spread of green investment. However, the announcement did not include details on these initiatives.
Commenting on the announcement, Greenpeace was cautious. “We welcome this statement from Prime Minister Suga, affirming Japan’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Sam Annesley, Greenpeace Japan’s Executive Director.
“If Japan and the rest of the world are to avoid the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis, it is precisely this kind of action that the world needs,” he added. “However this statement comes with an obligation for action, and if this rhetoric is to be made reality, this commitment must have policy to match. As Japan looks to revise its Basic Energy Plan and energy pathway to 2030, this revision must reflect net zero by 2050. Nearly 10 years on from Fukushima we are still facing the disastrous consequences of nuclear power, and this radioactive legacy has made clear that nuclear energy has no place in a green, sustainable future. If we are to achieve net zero by 2050, we must massively increase Japan’s renewable energy capacity, with a target of 50% renewable electricity by 2030. Anything less than 50% and Japan risks falling short of net zero, and more importantly risks driving the world above 1.5 degrees as per the Paris Agreement.”