New Japan PM Pledges to Match China’s Zero Carbon 2050 Initiative

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Official portrait of Yoshihide Suga, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan

Official portrait of Yoshihide Suga, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of JapanOfficial portrait of Yoshihide Suga, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. From the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan – CC BY 4.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to become climate neutral by 2050. My question: Where do you want to set up the necessary infrastructure for renewable energies with a population density of 899 inhabitants per mile?

Japan will be climate neutral by 2050, promises PM

Yoshihide Suga says dealing with climate change is no longer a barrier to growth as it takes a bolder approach to emergencies.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the country will be climate neutral by 2050, heralding a bolder approach to tackling the climate emergency by the world's third largest economy.

"The response to climate change is no longer an obstacle to economic growth," said Suga on Monday in his first political address to parliament since taking office.

"We need to change the way we think so that assertive measures against climate change lead to changes in the structure of industry and the economy that generate growth."

To the applause of the MPs, he added: "I declare that we will set ourselves the goal of realizing a decarbonised society."

Greenpeace Japan welcomed Suga's commitment to carbon neutrality but said that nuclear energy shouldn't be a factor.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/26/japan-will-become-carbon-neutral-by-2050-pm-pledges

Given that Yoshihide Suga is Japan's 11th Prime Minister in 20 years, it may be premature to take the trouble to bring Yoshihide's name to mind. Or maybe he'll be more sensible than Greenpeace on issues like nuclear energy.

Despite Fukishima, nuclear power is the only viable option if Japan, with its population density and inhospitable terrain, really wants to forego zero carbon.

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