Japan’s New Coal Plants Threaten Emission Cuts, Group Says

New coal power projects planned for Japan could emit carbon dioxide equal to about a 10th of the country’s total emissions, an environmental group said in a statement Thursday.

Japan has 43 coal power projects either under construction or planned, representing combined capacity of 21,200 megawatts, according to a statement from the Kyoto-based Kiko Network.

“These projects, which may still be operating in 2050, run counter to Japan’s efforts to tackle climate change and should be quickly reviewed or stopped,” the group said.

Emissions from the new projects would total 127 million metric tons, equivalent to 10 percent of Japan’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the group said. The year 1990 was established as the year from which to measure reductions in emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, the only international treaty limiting greenhouse gases.

The projections would account for about half of what Japan could emit in 2050 under the current government’s target to cut emissions by 80 percent by that date, the group said.

The report comes as Japan debates emission reduction plans ahead of the December United Nations climate talks in Paris. Japan may set a target to cut by about 20 percent from 2013 levels, the Nikkei newspaper reported Thursday.

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