MSeveral countries are using the small climate summit in Washington to announce targets for higher cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The United States itself wants to cut its emissions in half by 50 to 52 percent by 2030 compared to 2005, as President Joe Biden announced Thursday at the start of the hypothetical climate meeting. The day before, the European Union also promised to accelerate the rate of cut. Canada, South Korea and Japan also want to reduce their harmful gas emissions by 2030 more than they previously promised.
Reporter for business and politics in Japan, based in Tokyo.
On the other hand, the countries most important in terms of emissions trends, China and India, have rejected further cuts despite major diplomatic efforts. Biden’s climate ambassador traveled to China specifically to extract tangible concessions from the country. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended his country’s path: India will install at least 450 gigawatts of renewable energies by 2030. He noted that India’s per capita emissions are much lower than other major emissions.
A few hours before the meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that Japan wanted to tighten its self-imposed climate target by 2030. Suga set a new target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 46 percent by 2030 compared to 2013. So far, it has been Japan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 26 percent. Suga and Biden had already agreed on a climate partnership between the two countries in Washington last week.
Tie made from recycled waste plastic
For Suga, the announcement at this point is not simply a diplomatic gesture for Biden to emphasize the close ties between the two countries. The Japanese prime minister has made environmental policy a political priority ahead of the upcoming general elections. Last fall he declared that Japan should be climate neutral by 2050. Suga described the new climate goal by 2030 as ambitious. It is in line with the long-term goal by 2050.
Environmentalists in Japan doubt this, and Japan’s Greenpeace has criticized Japan for being more hesitant than other countries. Climate activists accuse the government of still promoting the export of coal-fired power plants to developing countries. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, Japan largely made up for the power shortage after shutting down nuclear power plants by burning more coal and gas.
The country continues to rely on nuclear energy and expand renewable energies to reduce climate emissions. South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised at the summit meeting that he would further tighten the country’s climate goal this year. The current climate target is less than 24.4 percent by 2030 compared to 2017. South Korea wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Moon also committed his government on Thursday to halt funding for coal-fired power plants overseas. The president chose an emblematic piece of clothing for his advertisement: his necktie is made from recycled plastic waste.
“This requires very strenuous efforts.”
In the afternoon, it was announced that China had at least announced a reduction in its coal consumption from 2025 onwards. At the hypothetical climate summit, state and party leader Xi Jinping said his country wanted “strict control” over coal-fired power plants. During the current five-year plan through 2025, the increase in the consumption of climate-damaging coal should be “strictly limited” and gradually reduce until 2030 during the next plan.
Xi Jinping reiterated his commitment that China will target its peak emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This means that no carbon dioxide is emitted or carbon dioxide emissions are fully compensated. Xi Jinping said China has pledged to move from its climax to neutrality faster than many developed countries can. This requires very strenuous efforts ».
China wants to work with the international community, including the United States, to fulfill its obligations under the Paris climate agreement. The principle of “common but different responsibility” should be applied. Accordingly, the industrialized countries will have to help the developing countries.
China is the world’s most populous country and the largest consumer of coal and carbon dioxide. While the government has repeatedly affirmed its goals in combating climate change, criticism has criticized the further expansion of coal power at the local level and the increase in coal production. The country relies on coal for 60 percent of its energy supplies.