Japan to spend $4 billion on climate change

By browsing TreeHugger and other sites, I came across a news on how Japan plans to put 4 billion USD (2.80 billion euros) in its climate change mitigation schemes.

This occurs as the country see its greenhouse gases emissions increase and is far from achieving its Kyoto Protocol goals, and this even with the efforts done on energy efficiency.

Many means will be used to achieve these targets. Among them are nuclear power, solar PV, carbon capture and storage and carbon offsets.

According to Bloomberg :

Japan’s trade ministry plans to increase spending on measures to reduce greenhouse gases by 27 percent next year.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to spend 433 billion yen ($4 billion) on measures to slow climate change in the year starting April 2009, compared with 342 billion yen for the current year, it said in a statement distributed in Tokyo today.

Policies include the development of advanced nuclear plants, electric vehicles and a system to capture and store carbon dioxide, a gas blamed for global warming. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda‘s government is accelerating investment in next- generation clean technologies in a bid to cut the country’s greenhouse gases by between 60 percent and 80 percent by 2050.

Japan is moving ahead with a project to develop carbon- capture technology, in which carbon dioxide from thermal power plants is captured in the atmosphere and stored underground or under the seabed.

Japan, a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, is struggling to meet its commitments under the United Nations treaty. The country pledged to reduce emissions by 6 percent from the 1990 level by 2012; they rose 6.2 percent from that level in the year ended March 2007.

(…) The trade ministry has proposed spending 18.2 billion yen to buy carbon-emission credits in the next business year, compared with 14.9 billion yen allocated this year, according to the statement.

Under the UN Clean Development Mechanism, polluters in developed nations can buy credits from projects that reduce greenhouse gases in poor countries to offset their own emissions.

Nuclear energy is another pillar of Fukuda’s plan to cut Japan’s emissions by more than half by 2050. The country has been developing so-called fast-breeder reactors, which are designed to generate more atomic fuel than they consume.

The ministry proposed a budget of 9.1 billion yen for the development of the reactors next year, a 42 percent increase from a year earlier, it said.

Renewable energy such as solar power also heads the government’s list of anti-climate change measures. The ministry will spend as much as 23.8 billion yen on subsidies and tax breaks to encourage households to install solar panels and businesses to increase output of the alternative energy.

Between 1994 and 2005, the government paid each Japanese household as much as 70,000 yen in solar subsidies. A revival would help kick-start the industry, which had a setback when the subsidies ended.

(…) The trade ministry wants to spend 954 billion yen on energy-supply security next year compared with the current 818 billion yen, according to the statement. Among top priorities are the development of rare metal resources and the acquisition of overseas oil, natural gas, coal and uranium assets.

Strangely enough, nothing is said on energy efficiency. Knowing how much this country has done on this matter in the previous decades, I am a bit puzzled to see that it isn’t mentioned.

Via Treehugger : Japan to Spend $4 Billion Next Year to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Image from Maki_C30D on FlickR

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