Japan will go carbon neutral by 2050
26 October 2020 — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed to build a carbon-neutral “Green society” by 2050, marking a paradigm shift for the world’s fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter.
The pledge will bring Japan in line with the European Union’s 2050 goal, and also sets it a decade ahead of China’s 2060 aim, which was announced last month.
He made the commitment in a debut policy speech in the Japanese Diet as Prime Minister. “Responding to climate change should no longer be seen as a constraint on economic growth,” Suga said. “We must change our way of thinking and realise that the adoption of proactive measures to achieve structural reform in industry will lead to significant growth in the economy.”
Suga cited next-generation solar cells and carbon recycling as potential innovations that might help Japan achieve its target. But he added that nuclear power—adopted with “the highest priority on safety”—will continue to be part of the carbon-neutral push.