New Japan PM Pledges to Match China’s Zero Carbon 2050 Initiative

Official portrait of Yoshihide Suga, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of JapanOfficial portrait of Yoshihide Suga, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of JapanOfficial portrait of Yoshihide Suga, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan
Official portrait of Yoshihide Suga, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. By Liberal Democratic Party in Japan – CC BY 4.0, link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050. My question, with a population density of 899 people per square mile, where do they plan to put the required renewable energy infrastructure?

Japan will become carbon neutral by 2050, PM pledges

Yoshihide Suga says dealing with climate change is no longer a constraint on growth as he sets out a bolder approach to the emergency.

Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has said the country will become carbon neutral by 2050, heralding a bolder approach to tackling the climate emergency by the world’s third-biggest economy.

“Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth,” Suga said on Monday in his first policy address to parliament since taking office.

“We need to change our thinking to the view that taking assertive measures against climate change will lead to changes in industrial structure and the economy that will bring about growth.”

To applause from MPs, he added: “I declare we will aim to realise a decarbonised society.”

Greenpeace Japan welcomed Suga’s commitment to carbon neutrality, but said there should be no role for nuclear power.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/26/japan-will-become-carbon-neutral-by-2050-pm-pledges

Given Yoshihide Suga is the 11th Japanese Prime Minister in 20 years, it may be premature to make the effort of commiting Yoshihide’s name to memory. Or perhaps he will turn out to be more sensible than Greenpeace, about issues like nuclear power.

Despite Fukishima, if Japan genuinely wants to go zero carbon, with their population density and inhospitable terrain, nuclear power really is the only viable option.

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October 27, 2020 at 12:20AM

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