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15 Apr 2015: Japan Emissions Hit Near-Record
High After Nuclear Power Plant Closings

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant

Wikimedia Commons
The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Japan.
Japan's carbon dioxide emissions reached their highest levels since 2007 last year, according to a government analysis of data for the year ending in March 2014. Greenhouse gas emissions had been on a downward trend as the country replaced coal and natural gas power stations with nuclear plants. However, all 48 of Japan's nuclear power reactors have been offline since September 2013 — the result of rigorous safety checks enacted after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Reuters reports. The country has increased natural gas and coal consumption to fill the void left by nuclear power, which had accounted for 26 percent of its electricity generation. Japan has said it's aiming for a 3.8 percent CO2 emissions decrease by 2020 from 2005 levels. Reports say the country is considering committing to a 20 percent decrease in CO2 emissions by 2030 as part of the upcoming Paris climate negotiations.


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