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Japan’s efforts to fight climate change is “hindered” by the influential business lobby Keidanren, Aaron Sheldrick reported for Reuters yesterday. As Sheldrick explained, the powerful lobby is “dominated by energy-intensive sectors that represent less than 10% of the economy, resulting in national policies that favor coal and are hindering attempts to combat climate change.”
Why This Matters: Japan has in the past faced criticism for its paltry actions on climate change. Earlier this year, Japan released its plan on how to fight climate change as part of the Paris agreement, representing the “first large economy to do so.” However, as Fiona Harvey reported in The Guardian, the plan, with its relatively low carbon reduction targets, was deemed “grossly inadequate” by environmental activists and advocates.
Now, as data analysis company InfluenceMap showed, that may be part of a larger trend of “the influence of the county’s electricity, steel, cement, car and fossil fuel sectors undermin[ing] Japan’s attempts to meet its Paris Agreement commitments.”
Legal Loopholes: Last month, environmental advocates were outraged at the governmental policy of financing coal plants overseas. Although environmental minister Shinjiro Koizumi “promised to scrap funds for dirty plants abroad,” the Japanese government ultimately “came up short,” as Climate Change News reported. Although the government said it would end the financing of overseas coal plants in countries that do not hold a decarbonization policy “in principle,” it created numerous loopholes to get around this.
As climate activists Lily Nacpil and Susanne Wong note, “According to climate experts, building any new coal plant is inconsistent with meeting the goals of the Paris agreement and averting catastrophic climate change.” Yet, coal in Japan itself is also “surg[ing] to record levels” after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima. According to Reuters, Japan is the “only G7 country working on a major rollout of coal power, with companies planning to build around 20 new coal-fired plants with a total capacity of 12,000 megawatts.”
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Hurricane Ida hit the shores of Louisiana nearly a month ago, bringing Category 4 hurricane winds and severe flooding. The storm caused at least $584 million in damage to agriculture in the state, as estimated by experts at the LSU AgCenter. More than 50% of the damage costs were […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed a $15 billion package to fund climate change and drought mitigation strategies. The new legislation consists of 24 bills that focus on climate and clean energy efforts, droughts, and wildfire preparedness. Why this Matters: This is the largest climate funding package in […]
On Tuesday night, seven late night hosts teamed up for “Climate Night” and used their platforms to build climate change awareness. Planned to coincide with Climate Week NYC, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, and more took to the airwaves to talk infrastructure, environmental justice, and advice for how to talk to deniers. […]
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