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Japan abandons plan to reduce environmental pollution in wake of nuclear energy shutdown

Japan abandons plan to reduce environmental pollution in wake of nuclear energy shutdown thumbnail

( to the New York Times, Japan will no longer be able to meet its earlier goal in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, citing nuclear plant shutdowns following the Fukushima disaster. Japan is one of the world’s leading polluters (along with China, the U.S., Russia and India), but they previously had a plan to cut emission rates to 25 percent from the levels in 1990. That plan relied on nuclear energy for clean electricity, but now, with Japan’s nuclear power program shut down over safety concerns, it is projected to release 3 percent more greenhouse gases by 2020.

As reported by the New York Times,

“We’re down to zero nuclear; anyone doing the math will find that target impossible now,” Nobuteru Ishihara, the environment minister, said in Tokyo after announcing the new target. He said the original goal was “unrealistic in the first place.”

“The current government seeks economic growth while doing our best to meet emissions targets,” he added.

This announcement comes as international negotiations regarding pollution and the environment take place in Warsaw, Germany. The Warsaw conference intends to make progress in developing a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which expired last year.

“Energy demand is going to increase,” Stuart Neil, senior director of external relations and communications for the World Energy Council, said. “We need to look at that in a sustainable way. But the reality is that we’re looking at a doubling of demand by 2050,” with the majority of growth expected from developing countries.

He added, “Even in the best-case scenario, there will be a doubling of CO2 emissions by 2050.”

natural news

8 Comments on "Japan abandons plan to reduce environmental pollution in wake of nuclear energy shutdown"

  1. J-Gav on Sun, 17th Nov 2013 6:24 pm 

    Hardly surprising … Hardly even news.
    What is a little surprising is the guy at the end saying that energy demand is going to double by 2050 (in the best-case scenario). That sounds like a direct extrapolation from current trends, but somehow I don’t believe current trends will prevail in 2050.

  2. DC on Sun, 17th Nov 2013 8:41 pm 

    Someone forgot to tell ‘natural’ news that electricity from nuclear power is not even remotely ‘clean’. Yes, I know, FF electricity is dirty too, a different kind of dirty, but nuclear dirty is in a league all of its own.

  3. dissident on Sun, 17th Nov 2013 8:58 pm 

    If only coal power generation was subjected to the same irrational standards as the nuclear power. Polluting the environment with mercury is no better than polluting it with long lived radioactive isotopes. But coal pollutes the environment with radiation too.

  4. BillT on Mon, 18th Nov 2013 1:06 am 

    This is not news if you think about their situation and what options they have. Hydrocarbons are the answer. Lots of them.

  5. ghung on Mon, 18th Nov 2013 2:46 pm 

    Yeah. Bill. That’s the catch; environmental concerns are something societies in overshoot can’t afford. It’s why I’m convinced humans will, collectively, keep burning whatever they can.

  6. Enviro Equipment Blog on Mon, 18th Nov 2013 8:44 pm 

    Environmental minister Ishihara says that old nuclear plants have been shut down and this is expected to result in a 3% increase in CO2 emissions by 2020. If you mean to tell me that it’s going to take seven years to to complete safety checkā€¦ or is it really because the Japanese are totally skittish about nuclear power in wake of the Fukushima disaster? Even so, it doesn’t take a lot of solar and/or wind power conversion to make up the aforementioned 3% so to me, it looks like Japan simply doesn’t want to commit to meaningful CO2 reductions.

  7. BillT on Tue, 19th Nov 2013 1:07 am 

    If you check or as IO did fly over Japan recnetly, they DO have solar and wind power all over. But, they also use About the same energy per capita as Germany, but with 50% more people on roughly the same land area.

    Difference is … Japan is on the ring of fire and has quakes everyday over 5 and is also prone to volcanic eruption, tsunamis and typhoons, which Germany is NOT. Big difference! Think the Philippines a thousand miles north.

  8. Kenz300 on Tue, 19th Nov 2013 2:39 pm 

    Japan can do themselves and the rest of the world a favor by committing to transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy to safer, cleaner and cheaper alternative energy sources.

    Wind and solar have dropped in price by over 50% in the last 5 years and the price continues to fall. The technology continues to improve every year.

    A national commitment to alternative energy sources would go along way to solving their power needs and their pollution reduction issues.

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