At the UN climate conference (COP28) in Dubai, Japan pledged not to build any more coal-fired power plants without capturing the greenhouse gas CO2. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in Dubai on Saturday that this contributed to achieving his country’s goal of becoming CO2 neutral by 2050, according to the transcript of his speech forwarded by Tokyo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kishida emphasized at the plenary session of the conference that Japan has made progress in implementing its interim target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent compared to 2013 levels by 2030. Accordingly, emissions have been reduced by 20 percent so far.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the government in Tokyo wants to restart several nuclear power plants. After a tsunami at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011 triggered a severe meltdown, Japan initially shut down all nuclear reactors in the country to subject them to safety inspections.
This left Japan extremely dependent on coal, oil and gas imports. Currently, almost 40 percent of electricity in Japan is produced from natural gas and 30 percent from coal.