Japan to stop building 'unabated' coal plants

Variety and Tech
2023-12-02 | 03:09
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Japan to stop building 'unabated' coal plants
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Japan to stop building 'unabated' coal plants

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has vowed at the UN's COP28 climate summit in Dubai to stop building new coal-fired power plants that lack measures to cut carbon emissions.

"In line with its pathway to net-zero, Japan will end new construction of domestic unabated coal power plants while securing a stable energy supply," Kishida said on Friday, according to a transcript of his speech released by Japan's foreign ministry.

The goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 is shared by G7 members, except Germany, which has a more ambitious 2045 deadline.

In addition, Kishida said that Japan has already cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent and is progressing toward a 46 percent reduction by 2030 from 2013 levels.

To reduce carbon emissions, Japan promotes using hydrogen and its derivative ammonia by burning it alongside gas and coal at existing power stations.

Experts remain skeptical, however.

Leo Roberts, a climate think tank E3G researcher, said the change was a "backdoor" to increasing the lifespan of the existing "fossil fuel infrastructure".

He added that the ammonia itself needs to be produced, "which is a whole other industry that requires electricity to do so."

The government has also said it will restart more of Japan's nuclear reactors.

After a tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011, Japan halted all its nuclear reactors to review and strengthen safety controls.

That left the country highly dependent on imported fossil fuels -- especially natural gas, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of Japan's total electricity production, and coal, which represents around 30 percent.

AFP
 

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Japan

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