Global Civil Society Responds to Japan’s New 2020 Target

[Warsaw, Poland] — November 15, 2013 – Japan announced its new 2020 emissions reduction target today at the UN climate negotiations in Poland. While parties are negotiating to raise the level of ambition during this year’s meeting, Japan has now abandoned their 25% reduction target from 1990, and proposed 3.1% increase compared to 1990 levels.

Sanjay Vashist, Director of Climate Action South Asia, “It should be a joke. Otherwise, it is outrageous. This will have a serious and negative impacton the negotiations and a direct insult to all those suffering from climate impacts.”

Sanjay Vashist said, “Japan does not seem to understand the agenda of the negotiations. We were expecting more from the world’s third largest economic country. But instead they are racing to the bottom”

“The science on climate change is clear. There are strong pleas from many vulnerable countries to developed countries, including Japan, to take strong mitigation actions. How can Japan be so irresponsible to the seriousness of climate change?” said Vashist.

To abandon the 25% emission reduction target and put forward a target with increased emissions is a betrayal to the international community. One of the most important issues at this year’s negotiations is to address the gap between the mitigation pledges of Parties and the emission reduction needed to keep the average global surface temperature rise to 2℃ from pre-industrial levels.

Vashist further said, “As global civil society, the target is unacceptable for the people living in the vulnerable countries and for future generations. They should reconsider and resubmit an ambitious emission reduction target.”

According to Japanese Climate Action Network spokesperson, Kimiko Hirata “Stopping nuclear power is not a legitimate reason for lowering their target. There are countries putting ambitious targets shifting their energy source from nuclear to renewables.”

Another problematic country at these negotiations has been Australia, which announced on Tuesday that they want to cancel a very successful climate legislation that they have.

“Withdrawing from climate action is like a slap in the face of those suffering from the impacts of climate change such as Philippine’s,” said Wael Hmaidan, Director of CAN International.

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