Tag: japan

Letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - CAN responds to Japan's draft INDC

CAN's 900 members wrote to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today, urging him to scale up his country's draft intended nationally determined contribution towards the Paris agreement. 

See attached and below.

 

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Dear Mr. Shinzo Abe,

On behalf of CAN, the largest network of NGOs working to keep the climate safe, I am writing to express concern from around the world in regard to the draft intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) towards the Paris agreement being considered by Japan. 

From its role in the forging of the Kyoto Protocol, to its commitment to Fast Start Finance, it can be said that Japan was a leader of climate action with a savvy and sophisticated economy geared to reap rewards from the efforts to address climate change. 

But those days now appear to be firmly in the past. Japan’s proposal, just announced today, to put forward at target of reducing emissions by around 26% on 2013 levels relegates it to that of a laggard on climate issues.  With this bare minimum target, Japan has not presented a credible plan to shift its economy from reliance on climate change-causing fossil fuels to renewable energy. This means the country will become increasingly exposed politically and economically to climate change.  Instead of putting forward a bold commitment, Japan has engaged with a slight of hand - changing base years - in an apparent attempt to make its offer look more appealing than it is. The world community is not fooled. 

By clinging to an outdated model of energy generation which gives utilities too much control and continuing to rely on inflexible nuclear and coal for “baseload” power, the country appears increasingly at odds with the momentum that is building towards a phase out of fossil fuels and the explosive growth in the renewable energy industry, even though it has all the ingredients to become a winner in a decarbonised world.  It is clear, Japan is being overtaken by key rivals, such as the US and China, on climate in advance of the Paris negotiations this December and who are standing ready to scoop up the benefits of accelerating the transition to renewable energy. By failing to send a strong message to the international community, Japan’s ideas on how to forge the Paris agreement will fall on deaf ears.

But it is not too late. Your government has the chance to review the draft and make a contribution that will unlock the benefits of action for the Japanese people and it’s economy. Therefore, ahead of the G7 meeting in Germany this June, CAN calls on Japan to set a target of over 40 per cent emissions reductions based on 1990 levels.  Only such a target will start to restore the country to a position of leadership on climate and spark the investment in renewable energy which the country’s people are calling for. 

Prime Minister Abe, we hope you hear this call and look forward to further exchange views on these issues.

Sincerely,

_____________

Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

Climate Action Network-International - on behalf of its 900 NGO members.

 

 

 

気候行動ネットワーク・インターナショナル

2015年4月30日

 

日本の新しい温暖化対策の目標案について

 

安倍晋三 内閣総理大臣殿

 

我々、気候行動ネットワーク(CAN)は、気候変動を防ぐために活動するNGOの世界最大のネットワークです。私はCANを代表し、日本政府がパリ合意に向けて検討中の温暖化対策の目標案について世界中が懸念していることをお伝えしたいと思います。

これまで日本は、京都議定書の実現や途上国への短期資金支援の約束などでその役割を果たし、豊かで進んだ経済を活かして気候変動に対処する努力をすることで成果をあげようとしてきた、気候変動対策のリーダーであったと言えます。

ところが、それは過去のものとなったように見えます。日本が本日発表された「2013年比で温室効果ガス排出量を26%程度削減」という水準の目標案を提出すれば、気候変動問題における日本の地位は失墜してしまうでしょう。このような低い目標では、日本経済を化石燃料から再生可能エネルギー中心へと転換させることを計画していないということになります。このことは、日本が今後ますます、政治的にも経済的にも、気候変動の影響にさらされることになるということを意味します。意欲的な排出削減目標を打ち出すのではなく、基準年をずらすという奇策を用いて目標を実際よりも高く見せようとする意図は明らかです。国際社会は騙されません。

時代遅れの発電方法に執着し、「ベースロード」電源として原子力や石炭に頑なに依存し続ければ、日本は化石燃料の段階的削減や再生可能エネルギー産業の大幅な成長促進からますます乖離していきます。しかも、脱炭素化する世界において勝者となるために必要なものを日本が全て有しているのにもかかわらず、です。今年12月のパリに向けた交渉を前に、気候変動問題への対応において、日本は明らかに米国や中国といったライバルに遅れをとっています。それらの国々は今や再生可能エネルギーへの転換によってますます大きな便益を得ようとしています。国際社会に対し強いメッセージを送ることができなければ、パリ合意に対する日本の考えは、一切耳を傾けてもらえないことになるでしょう。

しかし、まだ間に合います。日本政府には、目標案を見直し、国民と日本経済のための便益となるような貢献をするチャンスがあります。ドイツで6月に開催されるG7サミットに向けて、CANは、日本が「1990年比で40%以上削減」を目標として掲げることを求めます。このような目標を掲げることによってはじめて、気候問題における日本のリーダーシップは回復し、日本国民が求めている再生可能エネルギーへの投資を飛躍させることができるでしょう。

安倍総理におかれましては、ぜひ私たちの要請を受け止めていただければ幸いです。そして、今後、気候変動や排出削減目標といったテーマについて安倍総理と意見交換ができますことを心より楽しみにしております。

 

敬具

_____________

Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

Climate Action Network-International - on behalf of its 900 NGO members.

 

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Australia gets another Oi, to its Oi Oi Oi with 4th Fossil of the Day Award (4 out of 10, ouch)

Australia’s worsening status as a climate wrecker was given even more attention internationally with its fourth Fossil of the Day awarded today at the Lima COP20. It’s another dubious honour. It’s not an award the Prime Minister will be sending “straight to the pool room”- that’s for sure.

Even the spin doctors in the Abbott government will be scratching their flaky heads with what to do as these negative accolades roll on in. There have been ten days of Fossils awarded and Australia has won nearly half. Normally Aussies like to win things, but most sensible Australians would be shaking their heads at this.

So what did they do this time? Well the Australian Trade Minister who is here to ‘chaperone’ the Foreign Minister told big business leaders yesterday that his Government may not sign up to a new global deal if major trade competitors are not doing it to, he said Australia will not "get it in the neck". And heck he’s got a heck of coal to flog.

Robb’s a self professed climate sceptic, he’s travelling with BHP lobbyists here in Lima and he wanted to reassure everyone at the big end of town that those pesky developing countries got all they were ever going to get (you know that $200million over 4 years they pinched from the massively slashed Australian Foreign Aid budget.)

Minister Robb made it clear at the swanky event with big mining and big corporates that the Abbott Government may very well might not sign up to any agreement in Paris next year. That’s just not cricket Minister.  

Today we will also present a very unusual Ray of the Day - a “Pending” Ray. Japan have declared that the engagement of civil society in the INDC process is important - which is good. However, Japan is one of two countries (the other being the USA) that oppose webcasting meetings of the Green Climate Fund - an important element of transparency.

NGO participation and transparency are crucial in the INDC process. Since Japan is championing this position, and hopefully reflecting a similar sentiment at home, Japan is awarded a “Pending” Ray of the Day. When they stop blocking efforts to increase transparency in the Green Climate Fund, they can come and collect.

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Japan - Fossil of the Day - December 2, 2014 -COP 20 Lima

 

Japan wins the Fossil of the Day Award for getting busted funding coal and gas power stations in developing countries, in particular Indonesia, with money meant for scaling up climate action.  Using climate finance to fund the root causes of climate change smells very whiffy. 

Japan's argument is that it is better to fund clean coal than dirty coal. A very short sighted vision of what development means: A slightly cleaner coal or gas-fired power plant will not get energy to everybody that needs it. And the bill will only get higher in the coming year as fuel prices rise, and pollution from the plants hits home, and of course as climate change impacts worsen. Already locals are complaining that coal sludge is clogging up their rivers and killing fish stocks.  Not something known to happen with renewable energy. 

The fact is, Japan has in pretending to be a knight in shining armour with its Fast Start Finance Funds, but has actually been the dragon that ate the damsel all along.

This pot of Japanese money should have gone to renewable energy which could have solved some of Indonesia's problems, not worsened them. That's what climate finance should be about.

Ministers, Remember the KP?

The KP has its fans for good reasons, like legally binding commitments, its base year and common metrics, not to mention its compliance regime. ECO knows that the KP is not perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got, and it has to serve as the baseline for the new regime. And Ministers, ECO must be loud and clear – we must see more ambition.

The news that virtually none of our KP Ministerial friends will be joining us is highly distressing. The KP matters, both politically and practically.  The Protocol is the mechanism that demonstrated and institutionalised political leadership from developed countries. The second commitment period and a commitment to increase ambition from ALL developed countries pre-2020 was a key part of the package in Durban that resulted in the launch of the ADP. 

It’s not just ECO asking for more ambition. We think the Antarctic ice sheet melt might have been a sign that Ministers should do more, or perhaps that the cacophony of voices around the IPCC fifth assessment report analysis would have spurred them into action.

So where is developed country leadership right now? ECO reviews the state of play.

Those still making it legal….

EU, here we are again: "yes, but." Yes, Europe has made a real effort and arguably leads the world on climate action. It's on track to overshoot KP commitments and can boast during today's ministerial. But only a few key political supporters blocked tougher targets from becoming a reality. Those deeper 2020 cuts could surely (and still can) be met. And if they aren't, it sets Europe back for the post-2020 period by forcing lower ambition, while leaving excess credits in the system that will be held over to make compliance easier and ultimately undermining real decarbonisation.

Norway, with your wealth and high potential for renewables, you of all countries should be able to show that securing prosperity without destroying the climate is possible. But that means planning for life beyond oil and no longer wreaking havoc via your state-owned company Statoil pursuing ever dirtier and riskier oil in the Arctic and in the Canadian tar sands business. Drop your double-standard on climate action.

Australia, Tony Abbott's messed it up again. The latest rumour ECO has heard is that the G20 will exclude climate change from the agenda. Did Tony not notice the strong signals sent by two G20 members about cutting emissions and regulating coal? Ha! If anything should be excluded, it should be mining and burning more coal. But from a country that has a measly 5% reduction target for 2020, ECO is not surprised and might be laughing but for the impact of that dirty coal…

Those who jumped ship

Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Russia: it’s the same old song, so we won’t sing it. But we all do know how it goes.

That one big country that never did join in the end….

USA gave a great big kick to coal at the beginning of this week. ECO supposes it’s better late than never, but there is still a lot of ground to make up and greater cuts to be made. So keep going and this time, be sure to bring it to the party!

Clearly the developed world still has a lot of work to do to fulfil its ‘leading’ role. A lack of ambition from developed countries could be the perfect excuse, were any country seeking one, for avoiding commitments or ambitious actions in the future. But ECO is confident that no country will stoop to such crass opportunism. All countries are now fully aware of the scale of the global effort required and the need for urgent, ambitious and equitable actions. In Mexico and Indonesia, more action is underway. 

The game is on Minsters, there are less than 500 days left to get your act together.  So step up and deliver.

 

 

 

Related Newsletter : 

Dear Japan:

Hello and welcome, Mr. Japanese Minister!

We would like to introduce ourselves, as we did not have a chance to meet you here in Warsaw.

We have met the Japanese ministers at every Conference of the Parties since COP 2, held in 1996. We are wondering why the honorable Minister of Japan did not have the time to meet us in civil society this time around, and explain Japan's new ‘ambitious’ emissions target of 3.1% above 1990 levels by 2020 .

We are looking forward to meeting you in Lima, and hoping by then you can present a truly ambitious target of which you could be proud!

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Related Newsletter : 

Don't Drop the Ball, Japan!

Even with help from friends and governments around the world, ECO can’t quite convey its outrage at Japan’s latest actions. The newly revised 2020 target announced by Japan yesterday is a 3.1% increase of carbon emissions compared to 1990 levels. That’s a huge increase from Japan’s Kyoto first commitment period target (-6% from 1990). The new target allows Japan to revert to business-as-usual by 2020. Forget about climate – welcome to the race to the bottom.

Even more surprising is that Japan seems to consider the target ‘ambitious’ based on its announcement materials. ECO wonders if Japan forgot the qualifier ‘raising’ that goes along with the ‘ambition.’ It’s simple maths, really. Targets should be in line with reducing the risk of devastating climate change (staying well below 2°C). When Japan decreased its target, it abdicated its ambition, further widening the gigatonne gap and leaving it for others will have to fill.  
A growing number of people are fasting with a hope to have meaningful outcome from this COP, but Japan is betraying them and putting vulnerable countries in greater danger.

According to the Climate Action Tracker, the revision of the target will add another 356 MtCO2e/year to the atmosphere and widen the global emissions gap by 3-4%. That is a measurable burden for all those who live with the reality of climate change every day, when the world instead needs decisive and immediate actions to raise ambition, not to lower it.   

The Government of Japan attributes the rollback of ambition to the shutdown of nuclear power plants, but that isn’t the real story. There are plenty of options such as energy efficiency and renewable energy that can reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions in order for Japan to keep its 25% reduction pledge.

What’s missing in Japan is political will and a heart to care; in its place, a soul-less industrial lobby. The official responses to Japan from the EU, AOSIS and the UK declared deep disappointment and cautions about the ramifications on international mitigation action. People rushed to Japanese embassies to show their condemnation.

Japan should know this will render it being considered irrelevant in these talks.  It’s heading in the direction of its Brolly colleague Canada.  It no longer has skin in the game, nothing to play with and no political leverage.  Japan needs to reconsider its target immediately, upward and forward.

Still, there is one more thing. This has been announced as a "tentative" target. In due course, a chance remain for Japan to come back with a truly ambitious target in order to build momentum to close the gap – and not relying on or making excuses because of nuclear. Don’t drop the ball, Japan!

 

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