Japan plan to reduce emissions to zero in second half of 21st century

Japanese Cabinet approved a plan to reduce greenhouse emissions to zero in the second half of the 21st century as part of its strategy to fight climate change.

Renewable energy such as solar and wind will be the mainstay of the nation’s energy mix to achieve the goal, although coal-fired power plants will remain operational — a policy criticized by some energy experts as being insufficient to significantly cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Japan plans to present the strategy to the United Nations by late June 2019, when it hosts the Group of 20 summit, as required under the Paris climate agreement.

The 2015 Paris accord aims to keep the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Japan and Italy are the only nations among the Group of Seven countries that have yet to present a strategy.

Action against climate change is not a cost to the economy but a growth strategy toward the future, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a statement.