Japan seeks to raise its 2030 emissions reduction target to at least 40%

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Japan is seeking to increase its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to at least 40% from fiscal 2013 levels, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The move, a drastic increase from the government’s original target of cutting emissions by 26%, precedes a meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden on April 16, and a virtual summit on climate change. which will be hosted by Biden on April 22-23.

The 2030 target, which the government intends to finalize through the Group of Seven summit in June, is a cornerstone of Suga’s goal of making Japan a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

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Japan is looking to set a new target at a time when the European Union has already raised its reduction target and the United States is expected to announce a new target by the virtual summit this month.

The European Union has raised its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to at least 55% from 1990, while Britain has raised its target to 68%.

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said last month that the government plans to present “a 2030 reduction target in line with the 2050 target” of carbon neutrality.

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While the Ministry of the Environment proposes an ambitious target of reducing emissions by 45%, the Ministry of Industry, which attaches importance to setting targets based on concrete policies, calls for a 35% more conservative.

The government is also aiming to increase the use of natural gas-fired power plants, which emit relatively less carbon dioxide during thermal power generation, and to reduce reliance on inefficient coal-fired plants.

It also plans to expand renewable energy projects in line with the new reduction target.

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Japan previously planned to finalize its new 2030 target by the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November, but Suga decided to move it forward based on developments in the international community. .

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