‘Empty Words And Collective Failure’: Japanese NGOs React To New NDC


In the face of the climate crisis, we have no time to delay action. The Japanese Government had a choice between showing ambition to lead and succeed or settling for the false comfort of empty words and collective failure. Sadly, the Nationally Determined Contribution that Japan submitted is very much the latter. This failure will cost us all dearly.

Japan is the world’s third largest economy with the potential to catalyze, and benefit from, a rapid transition to clean energy. Prime Minister Abe still has the chance to invest in a green economy, playing a role as a leader who tackle the climate crisis. He, however, appears to be content to settle for a low target and policies to continue to fund coal, which are firmly taking us down the path to economic and environmental ruin. Japan should not slow down climate actions even amid the Covid-19 global fights and must revisit and strengthen the plan swiftly in order to be in line with the Paris Agreement. Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network, Representative, CAN-Japan

It is extremely disappointing that the Japanese government submitted the NDC without any upward revisions. As a signatory country of the Paris Agreement, Japan should appreciate the goal indicated by IPCC’s 1.5 degree Celsius Special Report that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 45% by 2030. As the fifth largest emitter in the world, Japan should take its responsibility and lead towards a decarbonized society instead of showing a bad example to other countries that have been considering reductions very seriously.

While the world is phasing out coal, Japan’s addiction to coal is watering down the efforts being made by the rest of the world and posing a burden in meeting global goals to tackle the climate crisis. Coal-fired power plants are losing profitability and sticking to coal will not only damage the long-term economy in Japan but also sustainable development of developing countries by locking them into a high carbon economy. The vast impacts of the climate crisis have already been apparent, and what we need now is to immediately start national debates with transparency and raise the ambition followed by concrete actions. Takayoshi Yokoyama, Team Leader, 350.org Japan