Japan will soon join the ranks of China, which has shifted its energy source to coal, after the government announced a new energy plan on Friday. In the new draft approved by Japan’s ruling coalition Liberal Democratic Party and its partner New Komeito on Thursday, coal has been indicated as an important source of energy as a majority of its nuclear plants remain offline.
While many environmentalists have called for alternative sources of energy in Japan, given the devastating effects the 2011 Fukushima disaster left in its wake, they will be disappointed as the new energy policy still cited nuclear power as an important source of energy, while failing to mention any “green energy” sources. Early this year, China announced the closure of 1,724 small-scale coal mines in the year of 2014 to help lessen pollution, giving environmentalists hope, only to be slapped with the realization that it was only a PR stunt as the country increases its coal production to 3.7 billion tons in 2013. In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change named China as the country with the biggest demand for coal, and highest carbon monoxide emissions.
As Japan follows China’s move to use coal following local utility companies’ increased consumption for the fuel after keeping reactors idle, it is looking into using the U.S.’s “clean coal” to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. The move is seen as Japan’s intended contribution to the environment to lessen the main cause of global warming.