Virtual Climate Summit: Some countries are fine-tuning targets

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.

Patrick Welter

Patrick Welter

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.

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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.

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