In response to “the summary of a meeting by relevant ministries on TEPCO’s bid for thermal power” by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) issued on April 30th, the Kiko Network announced the need to reevaluate the government’s new environmental standard when building coal fired power plants. The statement focused on 2 points: the problem of promoting coal power and the need to review new standard for environmental assessment.
1. CO2 Emission Should be Set to Natural Gas Level
Even the most efficient coal fired power plants currently emit about twice as much CO2 as natural gas fired power plants, and their impact on climate change is enormous. For environmental assessments, the emission standard should be set to the level of the most efficient natural gas power plants.
2. Consistency to Medium and Long Term Targets Required for Developed Countries Should be Strictly Secured
The Abe administration has decided to terminate the 25% reduction midterm target and has declared that it will no longer set a 2020 target under the Kyoto Protocol; therefore, Japan lacks a framework for reducing CO2 after 2013. What the world asks of developed countries like Japan, however, is a more ambitious midterm goal (at least 25-40% reduction).
Moreover, the long term objective of 80% reduction target approved by a cabinet requires immediate shift of energy infrastructure to renewable sources. The decision to relax environmental assessment of coal fired power plants is a major deviation from the long term objective. Also, it is inappropriate to allow the use of coal by depending on measures such as international offsets and carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), which still hold many unreliable factors.
Kiko Network Press Release (Japanese)