‘Empty words and collective failure’: Japanese NGOs react to new NDC

30 March 2020

30 March 2020, Tokyo, Japan: In the face of the climate crisis, we have no time to delay action. The Japanese Government had a choice between showing ambition to lead and succeed or settling for the false comfort of empty words and collective failure. Sadly, the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that Japan submitted today is very much the latter. This failure will cost us all dearly.

Japan is the world’s third largest economy with the potential to catalyze, and benefit, from a rapid transition to clean energy. Prime Minister Abe still has the chance to invest in a green economy and be the leader who tackled the climate crisis. He, however, appears to be content to settle for a low target and policies that continue to fund coal. This is firmly taking us down the path to economic and environmental ruin. Japan should not slow down climate action even amidst the Covid-19 global fights. It must revisit and strengthen the plan swiftly in order to be in line with the Paris Agreement. – Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network, Representative, CAN-Japan

It is extremely disappointing that the Japanese government submitted the NDC without any upward revisions. As a signatory country of the Paris Agreement, Japan should recongnize the goal indicated by IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degree Celsius -that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 45% by 2030. As the fifth largest emitter in the world, Japan should take its responsibility and lead towards a decarbonized society instead of showing a bad example to other countries that are considering reductions very seriously.

While the world is phasing out coal, Japan’s addiction to coal is watering down the efforts being made by the rest of the world and being a burden in meeting global goals to tackle the climate crisis. Coal fired power plants are losing profitability and sticking to coal will not only damage the long-term economy in Japan but also sustainable development of developing countries by locking them in a high carbon economy system. The vast impacts of the climate crisis have already been apparent, and what we need now is to immediately start national debates with transparency and raise the ambition followed by concrete actions. – Takayoshi Yokoyama, Team Leader, 350.org Japan


とりわけ世界が脱石炭に舵を切っている中、いまだに国内外で石炭を推進し続けていることは世界の努力に水を差し、世界の目標達成の足かせとなっています。経済的にも合理性を失いつつある石炭火力発電に固執することで、高排出の経済システムを温存し、長期的に国内経済や途上国の持続可能な発展を阻害することに繋がりかねません。気候危機の影響は目に見える形で顕在化しつつあり、今求められていることは、一刻も早く、透明性の高いプロセスにおいて国民的議論を経て、目標を引き上げ、行動に移すことです。350.org, 日本支部代表 横山隆美

Japan missed another opportunity to show leadership for decarbonization but instead sent a completely wrong signal to the international society implying it is ok not to enhance ambition at this crucial moment. No, this is NOT OK in the face of a climate crisis. Submitting an unchanged NDC now for the sake of meeting the nine- twelve month deadline has no legal basis and possibly discourages other countries efforts to seriously consider enhancing NDCs. The government should have listened to the positive voices expressed in the statement by Japan Climate Initiative (JCI), which was signed by 248 organizations including business companies, local governments and other non-state actors who urged the government to enhance its NDC. The only possible remedy now is to start an open and transparent process to discuss how to (NOT whether to) enhance its NDC with a clear time schedule. – Naoyuki Yamagishi, Leader, Climate and Energy Group, WWF Japan


Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network/ Representative, CAN-Japan
email: khirata@kikonet.org

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN
email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830


About CAN-Japan
CAN-Japan, the national node for Japan, works with CAN-International on international activities and with domestic NGOs to advance international negotiations and, strengthen domestic climate change policies that support sustainable energy choices, as well as to develop domestic activities that strengthen foreign climate policies.

About Climate Action Network
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org



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