Countries around the world are throwing their hat into the ring and promising to be carbon neutral. Japan is the latest to add to the list, and as the world’s third-largest economy, their promise means a lot to people everywhere.
Suga Yoshihide is the recently appointed prime minister of Japan, who made the announcement that the country plans to be carbon neutral by the year 2050, according to thejapantimes.
Other countries that have made a similar pledge include those who are following climate targets set by the European Union. Some people are skeptical about the pledge by Japan, due to the fact that they rely so heavily on nonrenewable energy. Although a full plan has not been released by Suga, he did emphasize that they would be shifting more toward renewable and nuclear energy sources.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga committed to cutting greenhouse gases to zero on a net basis by 2050 and achieving a carbon-neutral society, a major shift in Japan’s position on climate change https://t.co/PZgAqn3rFw pic.twitter.com/oHBU7SpsEY
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 26, 2020
As the Guardian reported, Suga said: “We need to change our thinking to the view that taking assertive measures against climate change will lead to changes in industrial structure and the economy that will bring about growth.” He also followed up with the promise of moving forward toward their carbon neutral goals by focusing on energy technologies.
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Now that Japan has committed to a carbon-neutral future, it replaces some of its former goals that were often criticized. Some of those goals included an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 and another that did not name a specific date.
Some people are also critical of the energy plan, due to the consequences of the meltdown at Fukushima. Those consequences are still being felt today, even as Japan has announced that they will be releasing radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
Greenpeace Japan seems to feel that they are on the right track for carbon neutrality, but adding the end to nuclear power in their plans is an important step to take.
In a recent press conference, Suga did state that Japan has a mission to “lead the efforts in the international community towards a world without nuclear weapons.”
Suga responded to applause from his first address to parliament, saying: “I declare we will aim to realize a decarbonized society,” according to the Guardian. They may also be taking their first steps toward a carbon-neutral future, including solar energy, carbon recycling, and using similar tools.
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