Japanese revision of emissions targets could have ‘devastating impact’ at COP 19



Posted on 14 November 2013  | 
Warsaw: Commenting on an expected revision of Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions targets, WWF said the move could have a ‘devastating impact’ on UN climate talks (COP 19) currently taking place in Warsaw.

The Japanese is government is expected to announce its newly revised 2020 target as -3.8% compared to 2005 by 2020 tomorrow. WWF said that Japan increased its emissions since 1990 and its GHG emissions in 2005 were about 7% higher than 1990 level. If the new target is converted into 1990-basis, it becomes +3.1%.

Naoyuki Yamagishi, leader, Climate and Energy Group, WWF Japan said: “"This move by Japan could have a devastating impact on the tone of discussion here in Warsaw. It could further accelerate the race to the bottom among other developed countries when the world needs decisive and immediate actions to "raise" ambition, not to "lower" ambition."

WWF said that Japan's target in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was -6% compared 1990. The latest emission data in 2011 is +3.7% above 1990 (note 2011 is the year when the earthquake/nuclear accident happened and thus fossil fuel use was large in order to make up the nuclear). Thus the new target is not only a significant retreat from the country's Cancun pledge (-25% compared to 1990 by 2020) but also a tremendous setback from Kyoto.

WWF-Japan’s Energy Scenarios, which were released in 2011 and again in 2013, clearly indicate that it is possible to reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, even without nuclear, with increased energy efficiency and uptake of renewables.

Tasneem Essop, leader of WWF’s COP 19 delegation, said, "As WWF’s Energy Scenarios show, Japan can do much more. Japan should reconsider its target immediately, and help the negotiations move forward."

For more information:
Mandy Woods, Head of Communications, WWF Global Climate & Energy Initiative, email: mwoods@wwf.org.za, mobile: +27 72 393 0027, skype: mandibles-sa, twitter: @MandyJeanWoods
George Smeeton, Media Relations Manager WWF-UK, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk, mobile: +44 (0)7917 052 948, skype: georgesmeeton, twitter: @GSmeeton
Growing urbanization puts an increasing strain on the planet. Tokyo, Japan.
© Michel Gunther/WWF-Canon Enlarge

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