Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fall to record low in 2018/19

2 Dec 2019

According to Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies, the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have declined from 1,291 MtCO2 in the financial year 2017/18 to 1,244 MtCO2 in 2018/19 (-3.6%), which is their lowest level since 1990/91. It was the fifth year in a row of decline, which was mainly driven by the increased use of renewable energies and the restart of nine nuclear reactors. As the world’s fifth-biggest carbon emitter, Japan aims at reducing its GHG emissions by 26% by 2030 (from 2013 levels). The observed decrease stood at 11.8% at the end of 2017/18.

Japan's GHG emissions rose significantly after the Fukushima 2011 nuclear disaster, as the country shut down all its nuclear reactors and subsequently increased the use of thermal power generation. However, GHG emissions have declined significantly since the peak 2013 (1,410 MtCO2), thanks to the rapide penetration of renewables in the power generation mix (17% in 2018) and the introduction of energy-efficiency measures.

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