Japan, the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, this week shared the climate plan which he intends to submit to the United Nations.
But the plan is no more ambitious than the one submitted to COP21 in Paris 5 years ago – with the same priority target of reducing emissions by 26% by 2030 compared to 2013 levels, according to the analysis. provided by the World Resources Institute (IRG).
When all the nations that signed the Paris Agreement submitted their planned national determined contributions (INDCs) in 2015, a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany found that this put us on a global heat trajectory more than three degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial global average.
Without the Paris Agreement, the trajectory of the status quo was towards a cataclysmic range above six degrees Celsius. So, bringing it down to three degrees has only ever been a good start to changing the fate of mankind. It was never an end goal.
Signaling that more needed to be done, climate leaders like Christiana Figueres immediately began campaigning for an increase in ambition push the carbon emission reduction targets even further.
So far, this ambition has been lacking across the world despite the shift in public opinion led by groups such as Fridays of the future and Extinction Rebellion.
Japan’s lack of ambition sends a signal to its own people, as well as to the rest of the world, that it is simply not ready to raise its ambition to prevent a global crisis that will make everyone suffer, little. no matter where they are, or, how rich or poor.
Failure to establish a solid transition plan for emission reductions flies in the face of common sense when the risks associated with the status quo increase and the cost of switching to low-carbon alternatives is both less. expensive and safer in the long run.
In previous years, it was common for governments to reject climate policy measures on the grounds that they would lead to reduced economic output and lost jobs.
This paradigm has now changed with global innovators and technology developers demonstrating that a new path is possible and that the price of renewable energy sources outweighs high carbon fossil fuels.
Helen Mountford, Vice President of the World Resources Institute (WRI) said: âStudies show that decarbonizing the Japanese economy could reduce the costs of importing fossil fuels by 70% and create more than 60,000 jobs in its domestic renewable energy sector.
“It is in Japan’s interest to review its climate commitment, in order to take full advantage of the job creation opportunities of the transition and to ensure sustainable, sustainable and resilient economic growth as the country recovers from the coronavirus . Otherwise, Japan risks falling behind many other countries in the global transition to a low-carbon economy. “
In 2017, Japan subsidized fossil fuels by $ 1.8 billion and is one of biggest coal financiers in the world. If the level of commitment to change in 2020 is the same as in 2015, then we can assume that fossil fuel subsidies are not changing either.
The Japanese government understands the threat of climate change and still refuses to act responsibly. The current global pandemic crisis is not an opportunity to turn away from climate action, but presents the need to shape the future beyond.
Nick Breeze is a journalist and interviewer on climate change, organizer of Cambridge Climate Lecture Series, as well as to write on Envisionation.fr and SecretSommelier.com – follow on Twitter at @NickGBreeze.