According to the data shown by the government on Friday, Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fell to a record low in the financial year that ended in March 2021. The rate of Industrial activities, Transportation, and other activities declined during the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown.

This astonishing 5.1% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a result of reduced industrial activities at the time of the pandemic. Not only that, but wider use of renewable energy also helped to reduce the emissions. The 5.1% symbolizes the declining rate of emissions in seven consecutive years.

For 2020/21, the greenhouse gas emissions in the previous year were tantamount to 1.15 billion metric tons. This means the emissions fell equivalent to 1.15 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from 1.21 billion tons.

According to Japan’s Compiled data on greenhouse emissions and the revised data from the environment ministry, the emission rate in 2020/21 was the lowest compared to the years since 1990/91.


Japan —- ‘The land of the rising Sun’ is considered the world’s fifth-biggest carbon emitter. So, Japan raised its climate goal in April 2021, Their goal was to cut the greenhouse gas emissions by 46% from 2013 levels by 2030. Their previous target was 26%. If Japan accomplishes its mission before 2030, the emission rate in 2030 will be 0.76 billion tons.

The decline rate of emissions in 2020/21 indicates the emission is reduced by around 18.4% Since 2013.

Japan’s extreme greenhouse gas emissions rushed after the nuclear disaster that occurred at Fukushima in 2011. This led to the closure of nuclear power plants and increased their fossil fuel usage. But this has turned the emission lower since a peak of 1.41 billion tons hit in 2013/14.

Since the Fukushima Nuclear disaster, ten reactors have restarted, and five of them are currently operating.

japan reduce greenhouse gas
Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi discusses Japan’s new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the Environment Ministry in March. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

According to the ministry, the production of nuclear energy fell from 2.3 % to 3.9%. Although thermal power production was increased to 76.3%.

“Although emissions have decreased for seven straight years, we are still a long way from achieving carbon neutrality and can’t be optimistic,” said Masayuki Koiwa, a director at the ministry.

“To achieve the 2030 target and our 2050 goal of carbon neutrality, we need to maximize the use of renewable energy,” he said.

The ministry would motivate the production and use of solar power to meet the 2030 target (46%) because that solar power could help Japan to reduce its emission levels quickly before 2030.


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