An industry report revealed on Monday that nine out of the nation’s 10 utilities failed to meet their self-imposed five-year targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The utility companies set targets that average to a 20 percent reduction, but almost all failed to meet those targets. Their failure was mainly a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which forced most of the utilities to revert to thermal power generation after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused the government to shut down all but two active reactors in the country.
The goal of project that kicked off in 2007 was to cut emissions of the main greenhouse gas by 20 percent from their levels in 1990, by fiscal 2012. The nine utilities that failed to reach their targets – basically regional monopolies – are Tohoku Electric Power Co., Hokuriku Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co., Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Tokyo Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., and Chugoku Electric Power Co. The only utility that met its 20 percent reduction target was Okinawa Electric Power Co., which is notable since the utility doesn’t even have a nuclear power plant.
Based on data from the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, the combined carbon dioxide reduction of Japan’s 10 utilities, including Okinawa Electric, stood at only 2.6 percent, a far cry from the 20 percent reduction target. Due emissions trading, Japan is probably still likely to achieve its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels within the five-year period until fiscal 2012, as required by the Kyoto Protocol.
[via Kyodo News]