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Reduce thermal to cut emissions

December 17, 2015


Panel: Japan needs to reduce thermal power plants



Dec. 17, 2015 - Updated 17:42 UTC+1

An expert panel of Japan's environment ministry has compiled the outline of a proposal calling for fewer coal-fired and other thermal power plants to meet pledges in the new global climate framework agreed in Paris.

The Paris accord obligates countries to submit emissions-cut goals every 5 years. It also seeks to cut net global greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the second half of this century by reducing emissions to levels that forests, oceans, and other matter can fully absorb.

The expert panel discussed how Japan should set a long-term emissions reduction plan within the new framework.

They agreed to advise the ministry to go ahead with a significant cut in the number of thermal power plants. They say such a cut is needed to achieve a Cabinet-decided long-term goal of cutting emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

They say if the country wants to stick to thermal plants, it must use expensive technology to bury carbon dioxide deep underground. They add because of the high cost, Japan must be careful in approving the construction of coal-fired thermal plants.

Plans to build coal-fired plants are gaining momentum in Japan amid the stall of nuclear power generation after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident. In addition, scheduled deregulation of electricity retailing in April is leading newcomers to tend to pick coal-fired thermal plants based on cheaper coal costs.

The panel will submit the final proposal around January of next year.


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