When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrote in the pages of the FT last year, he urged the world to act “swiftly” to combat climate change and to take “more robust actions”. “Climate change can be life-threatening to all generations,” he wrote. “The problem is exacerbating more quickly than we expected.” As Japan prepares to host the G20 summit at the end of this month, however, the country’s commitment to climate action is about to be put to the test. The summit will set the tone for the world’s largest economies at a time when global carbon emissions are rising. New national climate targets are expected later this year under the Paris climate accord. In previous G20 summits the role of the US – which, under the Trump administration, plans to withdraw from the Paris climate pact – has been in the spotlight. This year more scrutiny will focus on Japan’s climate record. Japan is one of the only developed countries that is still building new coal plants. It is a big funder of coal projects internationally. This month it did adopt a plan to become “carbon neutral” by the end of the century, though without naming a specific date. It kept its 2050 decarbonisation goal unchanged, targeting an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by then.
FT 27th June 2019 read more »