With the countries moving step-by-step towards their joint goal to fight impacts of climate change through individual actions, Japan submitted its post-2020 ‘climate action plan’ to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), promising to cut 26% of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from its 2013 level by the year 2030.
The country’s emission cut would be 25.4% by 2030 if it is compared to its 2005 level. The post-2020 ‘climate action plan’ of individual country is called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in the climate change negotiation parlance. So far, 47 countries have submitted their INDCs to the UNFCCC.
Referring to Japan’s domestic compulsion, it says, “Having faced a drastic change in its circumstances with regard to energy due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station, Japan decided the new Strategic Energy Plan last year as a starting point for reviewing and rebuilding its energy strategy from the scratch”.
All the 196 member countries of the UNFCCC are expected to submit their climate action plan, specifying how they will fight global warming under a post-2020 agreement, by October 1. Though the world’s top three polluters – China, US and EU (28 nations) – have submitted their INDCs, India – the fourth biggest emitter – is expected to submit its plan in September.
The INDCs, comprising emission cut promises, adaptation measures and renewable energy targets will form the basis of climate negotiations in Paris during the conference of parties (COP21) in December. Once all countries submit their INDCs, it will be calculated whether these actions are enough to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius this century from pre-industrialisation levels.
Countries have agreed that there will be no back-tracking in these national climate plans. It means that the level of ambition to reduce emissions will increase over time.