Japan’s largest power firms are seeking to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by about one-third by 2030 from their 2013 levels by relying on nuclear power, local media reported Thursday.
Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies, a consortium of 29 power firms, has set a target to reduce carbon emissions to about 0.37 kg per kilowatt of power in 2030, which marks a 35 percent decrease from 0.57 kg in 2013, Japan’s Nikkei reported, cited by Reuters.
The report comes as the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moves ahead with its contentious nuclear restart program, aiming to bring Japan’s reactors back online four years after the Fukushima disaster.
A spokesman for the federation reportedly said that the country’s electricity industry has not set greenhouse gas reduction goals yet and declined to provide further details.
Japan is the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Last month, the government set a target for the country to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030 from its 2013 level. The plan assumes that Japan will derive about 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear sources in 2030.
Before the shutdown that came in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Japan was the world’s third-largest nuclear energy producer. However, since then, the resource-poor nation has relied heavily on imported fossil fuels, which has contributed to a growing trade deficit.
The government has given authorization to restart at least three nuclear reactors, but the efforts have faced legal opposition from local residents.
Polls indicate that plans to restart the country’s reactors are also deeply unpopular among voters. An Asahi Shimbun poll found that nearly 60 percent of voters opposed Abe’s nuclear restart policy, and the governor of the Fukushima Prefecture has spoken out against the plan.
"We urge the government to take into full consideration the tremendous suffering from the nuclear power plant accident and make sure that future policy ensures the safety and peace of mind of all citizens," Gov. Masao Uchibori said in February.