Japan relies on Asian market to switch to green energy

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Updated 1 hour and 8 minutes ago

TOKYO (AP) – Japan is focusing on its Asian neighbors as it hopes to play a leading role in the growing effort to cut emissions, having earmarked $ 10 billion to help the region accelerate the abandonment of fossil fuels.

The Ministry of Economy and Industry on Monday hosted the first meeting of the “Partnership for Green Growth in Asia”, bringing together more than 20 countries, including Thailand and India, as well as the United States, the ‘Australia and the countries of the Middle East.

“The trajectories of energy transition are varied in each country. It is more effective to make efforts according to the economic, social and energy situation and the technological capacities of each country, ”said Hiroshi Kajiyama, the outgoing minister, with the cabinet reshuffle taking place around the same time as the meeting. .

He stressed the importance of various options, “such as nuclear, hydrogen and ammonia, to promote energy transitions in a realistic way”.

The meeting was held online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Japan hopes it will be an annual gathering, with the aim of helping countries meet the Paris agreement on climate change. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to cap the rise in global temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) by 2100.

A ministry official told The Associated Press that efforts to rally Asia are contributing to Japan’s long-term energy transition, as it would mean a larger market in this sector, which Japan sees as critical. Asian countries will be free to develop their own solutions, he said, speaking on the customary condition of anonymity.

The minister’s statement that there is no “one way to carbon neutrality” echoes the views of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, which also attended Monday’s meeting.

China has been invited but is not attending, citing recent national holidays.

Japan has one of the highest per capita emissions in the world, although experts say it has the potential to switch to renewables due to its natural environment and technological prowess.

Japan remains over 80% dependent on fossil fuels but ranks third in the world for solar power generation capacity after China and the United States, according to IEA data.

Experts warn the world continues to heat up, despite various countries’ emissions targets. Last year, Japan pledged to become carbon neutral, reaching zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Resource-poor Japan is including nuclear power in its energy mix plans, although some nuclear power plants remain offline after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

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Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama



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