Japan: NDC We Don’t Want

On March 31, 2020 Japan was the first of the G7 countries to submit an updated NDC. However, the document presented is actually a resubmission of their 2015 NDC with the same goal set in 2015 of reducing its emissions by 26% in 2030 from 2013 levels. Therefore, it is not in line with the Paris Agreement ratchet mechanism as it presents no enhanced ambition or improvement from its previous version.

Submitting an unchanged NDC for the sake of meeting the 9 to 12 months deadline established by the Paris Agreement sent a negative political signal to the international community. Japanese and international civil society have demanded that Japan resubmits its NDC with enhanced ambition.

The submission also added that revisions to Japan’s NDC “will be carried out consistently with the revision of the energy mix” rather than having to wait for the next five-year milestone of the Paris Agreement.

According to the Checklist for the NDCs We Want and taking into account that Japan is one of the world’s most prosperous countries and the fifth largest emitter, we consider that its NDC is an NDC We Don’t Want.

On 1 June, 2020, Japan’s Environment Minister Shinjirō Koizumi, speaking at a UNFCCC ‘June Momentum’ meeting, said Japan ‘will aim for aspiring figures in the NDC’, and will submit additional information by COP26. (01:05 to 01:25).