March 29, 2019 Read More →

Japan to rule out coal-fired plants as international criticism rises

Asahi Shimbun:

The Environment Ministry said that in principle it will not sanction construction of new large coal-fired power plants nor boilers to existing facilities in line with Japan’s international pledges to tackle global warming.

Moves are spreading worldwide to shun facilities that burn fossil fuels because they spew so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The policy initiative, announced March 28 by Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada, follows criticism that Japan is reluctant to break with such power generation, particularly after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has the final say on whether to approve new coal plant projects, but such decisions are supposed to take into account the environment minister’s opinion.

As a matter of course, the Environment Ministry conducts an environmental impact assessment for new plants with an output capacity of 150,000 kilowatts or more.

It will conduct more rigorous assessments in future and call for the rejection of projects with an emphasis on economic feasibility alone or those lacking measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions when the ministry presents its opinion to the industry ministry.

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