Japan Shelves Plan to Slash Emissions, Citing Fukushima

Hiroko Tabuchi and David Jolly, reporting for the New York Times:

Under its new goal, Japan, one of the world’s top polluters, would still seek to reduce its current emissions. But it would release 3 percent more greenhouse gases by 2020 compared to levels in 1990. Japan’s previous government had promised before the Fukushima crisis to cut greenhouse emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels, expecting that it could rely on nuclear power to achieve that goal.

Since the 2011 disaster, Japan’s nuclear power program, which provided about 30 percent of the country’s electricity, has ground to a halt amid public jitters over safety. The current government is pushing to restart reactors, but it remains unclear when that might happen.

“We’re down to zero nuclear; anyone doing the math will find that target impossible now,” Nobuteru Ishihara, the environment minister, said in Tokyo after announcing the new target.

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