【News】Prime Minister Kishida’s COP26 speech wins Japan “Fossil of the Day” award
Repeating last year’s wins, on November 2nd Japan was again awarded the “Fossil of the Day” award at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Glasgow, UK.
The Fossil of the Day prize is presented by the Climate Action Network (CAN), a group of environmental NGOs from around the world, which selects a country especially regressive in its global warming measures each day during the COP session.
Along with Japan, on the same day Norway and Australia were also selected as recipients for this shameful award. Japan has been a regular recipient of the Fossil of the Day prize at previous COPs.
Japan was awarded the prize because it was felt that Prime Minister Kishida’s speech at the summit demonstrated that Japan was reluctant to take necessary action against global warming.
In his speech, Prime Minister Kishida explained Japan’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46% in FY2030 compared to FY2013, and stated his intention to develop projects worth $100 million USD to promote zero emissions from thermal power generation in developing countries, especially in Asia, through the Asia Energy Transition Initiative. However, Kishida’s speech also contained elements that indicated Japan would continue its promotion of thermal power generation through an energy strategy judged to be half-hearted in effectively tackling global warming. Notably, Japan’s commitment to technologies that use ammonia or hydrogen as fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero (“zero emission”) would not aid Japan’s exit from fossil fuels, but rather would be an obstacle to decarbonization.
Even though commitment to the phase-out of coal-fired power is a priority issue at this COP, Japan’s continued use of fossil fuel-based thermal power generation while flying the flag of zero emissions clearly demonstrates the gap between Japan and the rest of the G7 countries, as well as the other countries that are actively working on effective measures to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Kiko Network has issued a position paper on the use of hydrogen and ammonia for thermal power generation, pointing out that “in reality, these are new fossil fuel development projects” as well as issues with the practical application of technologies to capture and store CO2.
【Position Paper】Hydrogen and ammonia co-firing in the power sector: Japan is choosing to expand fossil-fuel extraction and perpetuate coal and LNG (Link)