Japan Aims to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 46% Over 2013 Levels by 2030

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Japan Country Manager Yun-Tzu Lin


Japan Aims to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 46% Over 2013 Levels by 2030

Japan’s most current level of GHG emissions is approximately 1.213 billion tons in 2019, a 2.9% decrease compared to 1.247 billion tons in 2018. Its 2019 GHG emissions are at the lowest level since 1990, and a 14% decrease compared to 1.410 billion tons in the base year of 2013. This data is calculated by the Ministry of Environment (“温室…” 2021).

Image 1. 2019 GHG Emissions. Ret. 6/3/2021

In October 2020, Japan’s Prime Minister Suga declared Japan’s realization of a carbon-neutral, decarbonized society by 2050. In April 2021, Suga followed up this pledge with an announcement of Japan’s aim to reduce GHG emissions 46% by 2030 compared with fiscal 2013 levels, a significant increase from its previous commitment for a 26% cut.

The current 2030 Strategic Energy Plan, set in 2018, still plans for 22-24% of Japan’s energy to come from renewables, 20-22% from nuclear power and 56% from fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas. Energy experts are discussing revisions to the plan for 2030 and 2050. It is expected that the 2050 emissions-free target will prompt drastic changes and likely more nuclear plant restarts.

The Japanese government has declared its focus to systematically promote existing technologies and the development and deployment of key new technologies such as next-generation solar batteries and carbon recycling. In recognition of the limitations of “energy conservation, electrification, power source decarbonization, and hydrogen fuel initiatives,” in achieving a fossil-free society, Japan plans to develop negative emission technologies to “capture and store carbon dioxide” as a critical element of its approach (“Japan’s Roadmap…” 2020).

These latest pledges are an improvement upon Japan’s most recent NDC pledge under the Paris Agreement that included an emissions reduction target of 26% below 2013 levels in 2030.

温室効果ガス排出・吸収量等の算定と報告~温室効果ガスインベントリ等関連情報~. (2021).

Retrieved 3 June 2021, from https://www.env.go.jp/earth/ondanka/ghg-mrv/emissions/

Japan’s Roadmap to “Beyond-Zero” Carbon. (2021). Retrieved 3 June 2021, from



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