Data released by the Japanese government is suggesting that Japan will not be able to reach its carbon reduction goals if it doesn’t restart its serviceable nuclear power plants.
Amidst strong protests from environmental groups after the Fukushima disaster, the government is cautious about the idea. Since the disaster Japan has been importing and burning record amounts if fossil fuels to keep up with the nations high energy demands.
JAPAN will not be able to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by any more than 11 per cent by 2020 if it is unable to restart any of its 50 serviceable nuclear reactors, data suggests.
However, if the nuclear power stations are restarted, cuts of almost 20 per cent on 1990 levels are still possible, figures released by the Environment Ministry show.
The country’s reactors – capable of producing 30 per cent of electricity demand – remain offline amid safety worries and political wrangling in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.
Since the accident, Japan has been importing and burning record amounts of fossil fuels – mostly liquefied natural gas, but also coal. The ministry’s central environment committee suggests Japan will fall short of its target of a 25 per cent cut to emissions by 2020 even if nuclear energy production is fully resumed.
At the moment, the government is facing a tense battle to convince local authorities and citizens to allow nuclear power plants to restart amid post-Fukushima fears over their safety in the event of another earthquake or tsunami.
The figures pose an interesting challenge to Japan’s environment movement as to which is the greater evil – rising carbon emissions or nuclear energy.
Source: The Australian