Energy / Climate Change

January 10, 2009


Japan's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increased by 2.3% in 2007: Ministry

Keywords: Climate Change Government 

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment announced on November 12, 2008, that preliminary figures show that the country's total emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) in fiscal 2007 increased by 2.3 percent to 1.371 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent (same unit used below). This was an increase for the first time in two years, and was a record high. The ministry said that total 2007 emissions exceeded the 1990 base year level under the Kyoto Protocol of 1.261 billion tons by 8.7 percent.

Among total greenhouse gas emissions, the amounts of three major gases being monitored -- methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and chlorofluorocarbon substitutes -- decreased significantly compared to the base year level. Even when compared to the previous year, the levels of these gases decreased, although N2O emissions stayed at the same level.

CO2, which dominates most GHG emissions, increased by 14.1 percent from the base year and by 2.6 percent from the previous year (fiscal 2006), amounting to 1.305 billion tons. This increase was mainly caused by a deterioration in electricity emission intensity (kilograms of CO2 per kilowatt-hour), which was affected by reduced nuclear power plant operation -- due to the suspension of Tokyo Electric Power's Kariwa Nuclear Plant in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, after an earthquake in July 2007 -- besides increased thermal generation to make up for a decline in hydro generation due to water shortages.

Applying the electricity emission intensity based on the actual figure in fiscal 1998, the lowest figure so far, total GHG emissions in fiscal 2007 represented a 3.7 percent increase from the 1990 base year level. This indicates that any deterioration in electricity emission intensity significantly affects the level of GHG emissions.

- Japan's Ministry of the Environment official website

Posted: 2009/01/10 06:00:15 AM