June 29, 2022

The Japanese government reported the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to fall in fiscal 2020 to a record low for the seventh consecutive year. Such a steady decline reflects smaller energy consumption by companies as the COVID-19 pandemic slowed economic activities.

According to the data submitted by the Environment Ministry, in the year through March 2021, the equivalent of 1.149 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions was recorded, down 5.1 percent from the previous year.

In fiscal 2020, the emissions marked an 18.4 percent drop compared with the fiscal 2013 level, far off the country’s new goal submitted by the government to the United Nations in October of a 46 percent cut by fiscal 2030.

The government had lifted the target from the previous commitment of a 26 percent reduction compared with fiscal 2013.

A ministry official on the account of the same mentioned that the government in the near future would like to expand renewable energy and speed up the introduction of thermal insulation measures for homes.

Greenhouse gas emission reduction –

• The industry sector in fiscal 2020 had reduced energy-related CO2 emissions by 8.3 percent from a year earlier.
• While transport sector and service providers’ CO2 emissions in the reporting fiscal fell 10.2 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.
• In the meantime, the household sector rather recorded an increase of 4.9 percent in CO2 emissions. This could be due to expansion in teleworking and online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
• In the country’s power supply mix, the expansion of photovoltaic led to the expansion of renewables to account for 19.8 percent.
• The nuclear power emissions stood at 3.9 percent in the reporting fiscal. This has been attributed to many nuclear plants in the country that remained offline under stricter safety regulations.
• The data showed that in fiscal 2020 the ratio of coal fire CO2 emissions decreased to 31 percent, down 1 percentage point from a year earlier.
• The use of super greenhouse gasses used in air conditioning and refrigeration, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), among others, rose 4.4 percent from a year earlier.

The ministry has mentioned that they are aiming to strengthen the collection and disposal regulations of HFCs and others.