Japanese Prime Minister declares “substantially zero” greenhouse gas in 2050 ー Radical change for coal fired power generation

Japanese Prime Minister declares “substantially zero” greenhouse gas in 2050 ー Radical change for coal fired power generation

On October 26th, Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga declared in his policy speech to target the realization of carbon neutral that reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and absorption to zero. He emphasized that “addressing climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth”, and he appealed to raise awareness, “Taking active measures will bring about changes in industry structure and economic society” Hiroshi Kajiyama, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) stated at an extraordinary conference on the same day of 26th that he will compile the action plan by the end of this year which include the specific target year of substantially zero plan and regulatory developments regarding the key sectors such as hydrogen, storage battery and carbon recycling.

Prime minister, Suga declared at the beginning of the extraordinary session of the Diet on 26th of October, “Reduce Greenhouse gas emission to zero by 2050, namely it aims at carbon neutral and decarbonized society” and he appealed for the realization of a green society. At the same time, he explained the importance of revolutionary innovation. He listed next-generation solar cells and carbon recycling as specific technologies to promote the research and development for practical use.

Regarding power sources, he referred “Nuclear energy policy will be promoted with highest priority on safety” as well as the maximum introduction of energy conservation and renewable energy, and explained the policy of achieving both de-carbonization and stable electricity supply. On the other hand, he also stated “The policy for coal fired power generation which has been continued for many years will be radically changed”

At an extraordinary conference, METI Minister Kajiyama stated “Challenge for carbon neutral is Japan’s growth strategy itself and Industry, government and academia will work seriously with a high vision”. He declared “METI will lead the consideration for realization but not the Ministry of Environment” since it is necessary to coordinate with the industrial sector. Capturing a change as a business opportunity, aims to realize the behavior change in the company with policy support.

He emphasized particularly on efforts in energy sector. The demand for electricity is expected to increase toward carbon neutral in the future. METI Minister Kajiyama explained “Make the most use of what we can use, such as renewable energy and nuclear power. New options such as hydrogen, etc. will also be pursued” Regarding thermal power, he stated “Make the most use of CCUS(CO2 capture, utilize and storage) and carbon recycling”, suggested a certain degree of utilization.

As an effort on the demand side, he explained “Electricity and hydrogen are the basics” in the industry, transportation and residential sectors. The manufacturing process which is unable to correspond with electricity will be aimed to substantially Zero with utilization of hydrogen.
Toward the carbon neutral, the focused issue will be on how to draw a concrete future perspective in the discussions on the formulation of the sixth basic energy plan.