Japan’s emissions level has declined for the first time in five years to 1.364 billion metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent, from 1.408 billion tonnes the year before which was the second highest on record, according to revised data from the country’s Ministry of Environment. The highest emissions level on record was 1.413 billion metric tonnes in 2007.
This marks the first decline since emissions rose after the Fukushima disaster following a tsunami in March 2011 that led to the closure of Japan’s nuclear power plants and an increased reliance on coal and gas.
The reduction followed power saving, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of investments in renewable energy, and fuel conversion and enhanced fuel efficiency of fossil fuel-fired power units, the ministry said.
Japan, the world’s fifth largest carbon emitter, officially set a goal in July to reduce its emissions by 26% by 2030 from 2013 levels.
A gradual restart of Japan’s nuclear reactors and growing renewable power would likely reduce the nation’s energy-originated CO2 emissions for a third straight year to 1.131 billion tonnes in fiscal 2016, from a record 1.235 billion tonnes in 2013, the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) projected last December.