Japan looks to more ‘realistic’ net zero approach

It says its environmental obstacles are distinct from Europe and America – and its approach should represent that

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Japan is backing a more ‘realistic’ net zero plan that suits the requirements and experiences of Asia specifically, compared with the rest of the world.

The country argues that its environmental obstacles differ from that of Europe and America, which should be taken into account in the pace of its transition.

The crux of the issue is that Asian economies are not as developed as the West, Tokyo argues – which means they are more reliant on fossil fuels.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister of Economy, said: “In the G7 meeting, we acknowledged that different countries around the world have various economic and energy situations and the path to carbon-neutrality by 2050 should be diverse.”

This new approach has been considered more seriously after the energy crisis and Ukraine War.

However, Japan has faced criticism for its stance, with Kimiko Hirata from Climate Integrate stating: “It’s extremely important for the G7 leaders to go one step further to reach an ambitious agreement in order to advance discussions with developing countries at the upcoming G20 summit and COP28.”

The G7 has pledged to having a “predominantly decarbonised power sector by 2035.”

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