2018 Marked by Extreme Weather Events And Expansion of Coal-Fired Power Plants

Spotlight Activity: 2018 Marked by Extreme Weather Events And Expansion of Coal-Fired Power Plants

In July 2018, more than 200 people were confirmed dead after record rainfall caused flooding and landslides in western Japan, and more than 8 million people were advised or urged to evacuate across 23 prefectures. In addition, an intense heat wave continued every day immediately after the rainfall. It made the restoration work in the disaster areas difficult and people died of heatstroke in various places.

Because of the heavy rainfall, the Japan Meteorological Agency for three days issued “special heavy rain warnings” in advance of extreme rain events, with the potential of the rainfall being “the worst in decades” in 11 prefectures in western Japan. Since the start of special alarm operation in 2013, it was the first time that it was issued to over four prefectures due to one disaster.

Given the atmospheric pressure pattern generated this time, it is clear that increased water vapor caused by global warming strengthened the torrential rain, and as global warming progresses, the possibility of such heavy rain will continue to rise, an expert said.

COP24 showed the important of eliminating dependence on fossil fuel, and especially the phase-out of coal. However, in Japan, there are plans to build 35 coal-fired power plants under the policy of promoting large-scale thermal power plants with “high efficiency”. At COP24, Japan did not clarify the vision of decarbonization beyond the previous policies and maintains the prospect of promoting coal. In addition, there has been virtually no substantial debate about a “Just Transition”.

It is worth noting the behavior of one Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) after the heavy rainfall. While “abnormal” is becoming “normal”, Greenpeace Japan conducted a survey on abnormal weather, climate change and coal-fired power generation for 1,000 people in Japan in August 2018. According to the result, over 80percent of people feel a threat to Japan’s weather this summer, such as the heavy rainfalls in July and the intense heat. Plus, 84percent think that it is related to long-term trends caused by global warming. In addition, half of respondents said that they have known the fact that coal-fired power plants emit the largest amount of CO2, which causes global warming, however, about 80percent of people did not recognize that many domestic coal-fired power plants already operated and more plants will be built.

Status: Falling Behind

In 2018, Japan experienced frequent extreme weather, such as intense heat wave, torrential rain and huge typhoons. At COP24, Japan did not clarify the vision of decarbonization beyond the previous policies and maintains the prospect of promoting coal. In the Climate Change Performance Index in 2018, Japan ranks 50th and shows a very low to low performance in all categories except energy use. National experts see the continued increase in the number of coal-fired power plants as becoming a major threat to achieving Japan’s already weak 2030 mitigation target.

Take Action

Action Alert Message:

Dear Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko,

Our government should not disregard these disasters as abnormal weather and face the essence of the problem. What we can do right now to reduce even extreme weather disasters is to stop coal-fired power generation and not build any more new coal-fired plants. We also expect companies and local governments to make more advanced movements to mitigate risks in climate change.

Contact: Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Web: Leave message(https://wwws.meti.go.jp/honsho/comment_form/comments_send.htm)

The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Web: Leave message ( https://wwws.meti.go.jp/enecho/about/form.html)

2018年7月、台風および梅雨前線等の影響で発生した集中豪雨により、200人を超える犠牲者を出した。また、その直後から続いた連日の猛暑は被災地の復旧作業を困難にし、熱中症による死亡者も各地で続出した。

その豪雨で気象庁は、数十年に一度の重大な災害が予想される場合に出す「大雨特別警報」を3日間に渡り、西日本の11府県で発表した。2013年に特別警報の運用が始まって以降、一つの災害で4都道府県以上に出されたのは初めてだった。

今回生じた気圧パターンを前提とするならば、地球温暖化による水蒸気の増加が豪雨を強化させたことは明らかであり、地球温暖化が進む限り、このような豪雨の起きる可能性はこれからも上がり続けると専門家は述べている。

COP24において各国の⾏動の引き上げにおいて、最も重点を置くべきことは脱化⽯燃料、そしてその中でも脱⽯炭を迅速に実現することが示された。一方で、国内では経済産業省が掲げる『高効率』で大型の火力発電所を推進する方針のもと、現在35基の石炭火力発電所の新設が計画されている。⽇本は従前の⽅針以上の脱炭素のビジョンを明確にせず、⽯炭推進⽅針を維持したままである他、公正な移⾏についても実質的な議論はほとんど⾏われていない。

「異常」が「日常」になりつつある中、グリーンピース·ジャパンは、8月に国内1000人を対象に異常気象と気候変動、石炭火力発電に関する意識調査を行ったところ、7月の豪雨や最高気温の更新と猛暑など、この夏の日本の気象に、8 割を超える人が脅威を感じている。また長期的な地球温暖化による傾向と関係していると思う人は 84%にのぼった 。一方で石炭火力発電は地球温暖化の原因となる CO2 を最も多く排出するが、そのことを知っていると答えた人は約半数いた一方、国内ではすでに多くの石炭火力発電所が稼働し、さらに推進の傾向にあることについては、8 割以上の人が認識していなかった。

2018年、日本は猛暑や豪雨や台風の頻度が増すなどの数々の異常気象を経験した。しかし政府はCOP24においても従前の⽅針以上の脱炭素のビジョンを明確にせず、⽯炭推進⽅針を維持したままである。COP24で発表された温暖化対策の国別ランキング(Climate Change Performance Index)では、日本は5段階評価で最低のグループに入る49位(昨年50位)だった。国内の専門家は、石炭火力発電所の数の継続的な増加が、日本の2030年26percent減という緩和目標を達成するための大きな脅威になると考えている。

政府はこれらの災害を異常気象だと片づけず、問題の本質と向き合うべきである。極端な気象災害を少しでも減らすために日本が今すぐにできる対策は、石炭火力発電をやめ、これ以上新しくつくらないことである。また気候変動におけるリスクを軽減するために企業や自治体にもより先進的な動きを期待する。

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

x
x

Climate change is real, and what governments do matters.

Help us work with key stakeholders globally to ensure continued support of the The Paris Agreement.