Japan plans carbon emission cuts, more nuclear energy

Japan is calling for further efforts to cut carbon emissions by promoting renewables but also nuclear energy despite the 2011 Fukushima reactors meltdowns.

The energy white paper, adopted by the Cabinet on Friday, said Japan faces an 'urgent task' of reducing carbon emissions coming from utilities that have relied heavily on fossil fuels to make up for shortages of cleaner nuclear energy. The call comes as the Fukushima nuclear reactors are slowly being restarted amid lingering anti-nuclear sentiments since the 2011 crisis.

Japan wants further development of renewable energy and set a 22 per cent to 24 per cent target while maintaining nuclear energy at around the same level.

It also pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 26 per cent from 2013 levels by 2030.

So far it has achieved a 7 per cent reduction and is making progress but needs more effort, the paper said.

It said the cost of renewables also needs to come down.

While the renewables account for 16 per cent of Japan's energy supply, nuclear energy remained at just 3 per cent in 2017, compared to the target of 20 per cent to 22 per cent, according to the paper.

Coal and natural gas accounted for 74 per cent.