Energy / Climate Change

August 22, 2009


Japan Records Record High Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 9% Increase from 1990 Levels

Keywords: Climate Change Government 

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment announced on April 30, 2009, that total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in FY 2007 had increased by 2.4% from the previous year to 1,374 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent (same unit used below). This represents the highest level ever, and exceeds by 9.0% the 1990 base year level under the Kyoto Protocol of 1,261 billion tons. Japan has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 9.6% to achieve its goal for reducing emissions by 6% from base year levels as agreed to under the Protocol, even if it attains reductions of 3.8% through forest absorption and to 1.6% through the Kyoto Mechanism (Clean Development Mechanism).

The emissions increase was mainly caused by an increase in CO2 emissions per unit of power generated (kgCO2/kWh) due to the substantial rise in thermal power generation, which resulted from the declining operation rate of nuclear power plants and the reduced hydropower generation due to drought. The operation rate of nuclear power plants in FY2007 was 60.7%, with CO2 emissions per unit of power generated of 0.453 kg CO2/kWh, each falling well below the previous minimums of 84.2% and 0.354 kg CO2/kWh, which were recorded in FY1998.

Although Japan expects to reduce its CO2 emissions by 3.8% of the total emissions in 1990 through forest absorption to meet the Kyoto Protocol goals, the absorption volume in FY2007 remained only 3.2%, equivalent to 40.7 million tons, including 40 million tons through forest and 0.7 million tons through urban greening.

Japan's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increased by 2.3% in 2007: Ministry (Related JFS article)
FY 2007 Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Japan

Posted: 2009/08/22 06:00:15 AM