An Ill Wind

ECO just caught wind of bizarre news. Apparently, a Japanese governmental committee is considering a range of pollution reduction targets that are lower than Japan's 25% target. When negotiators are discussing an agenda item on raising ambition so intensively (and Japan actually supports that agenda item here), this looks utterly strange. 

Why should the range of targets be so low? The reason is hidden behind the problematic assumptions used to calculate these target options. First, they includes a ridiculous assumption to increase nuclear energy, even after the Fukushima tragedy. Second, energy saving potentials are “fixed” deliberately at a low rate and thus do not reflect Japan's real pollution reduction potential. In a nutshell, there is still good opportunity to raise Japan’s ambition for 2020. Far more than the ranges under consideration are achievable. ECO knows that this discussion is an ongoing one and it has not been finalized. We also know that the range of targets do not include forestry and flexibility mechanisms. Nonetheless, the range suggests far less ambition and potential than the reality in the country. We wonder if, while Japan remains outside of Kyoto, they are really committed to doing their fair share to solve the climate crisis? Japan instead needs to raise its ambition and show what it can contribute to the planet!