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| Last Updated:23/05/2020

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Japan submits its post-2020 climate action plan

NEW DELHI: With the countries moving step-by-step towards their joint goal to fight impacts of climate change through individual actions, Japan on Monday 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.

"Japan's INDC towards post-2020 GHG emission reductions is at the level of a reduction of 26.0% by fiscal year (FY) 2030 compared to FY 2013 (25.4% reduction compared to FY 2005) (approximately 1.042 billion t-CO2 eq. as 2030 emissions), ensuring consistency with its energy mix, set as a feasible reduction target by bottom-up calculation with concrete policies, measures and individual technologies taking into adequate consideration, inter alia, technological and cost constraints, and set based on the amount of domestic emission reductions and removals assumed to be obtained", says the country's INDC paper.

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.

 Who promised what

 * EU (28 countries): to cut emissions by at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2030

 * USA: to cut emissions by 26-28% below its 2005 levels by 2025

 * China: commits to peak its emissions around 2030; Emission will decline only after reaching the peak

 * Russia: to cut emissions by 25-30% from 1990 levels by 2030

 * Switzerland: to cut emissions by at least 50% from its 1990 level by 2030

 * Norway: to cut emissions by at least 40% from its 1990 levels by 2030

 * Canada: to cut emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

 * All these countries have also committed to increase share of renewable energy in their total energy mix