Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
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.”
After a four-year hiatus under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Change Indicators website is back in action. The public portal includes data on 54 indicators including sea-level rise, Great Lakes ice cover, heat waves, river flooding, and residential energy use.
Why This Matters: People are experiencing the impacts of climate change in their everyday lives, from hotter temperatures to more intense wildfire seasons.
When reading about climate change, you’ll often come across the unit of measurement called a “metric ton of CO2.” That sounds like a lot, but the unit is a bit abstract for most of us when our reference point for a ton is a VW Beetle, the Liberty Bell, or even a baby humpback whale […]
According to a new report from Christian Aid, Kenya, which produces half of all black tea consumed by the UK, may lose a quarter of its growing capacity by 2050, and the tea that makes it into drinkers’ cups may taste a lot different than before. The decline of tea farming has implications for economies worldwide, including Kenya, India, China, and Sri Lanka.
Why This Matters: Tea is the most popular drink other than water globally and the tea industry employs more than 3 million people in Africa alone.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.