Japan CO2 Emissions Up 2.7% In FY07 On Lower Nuke Operating Rates

Jose Michael

A study by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry attributed a year-on-year 2.7% increase in CO2 emissions in fiscal 2007 mainly to lower operating rates at nuclear power plants.

The rise in CO2 emissions is certain to have pushed up Japan’s total greenhouse gas emissions for the year. The increase translates into a 15% hike in CO2 emissions since 1990, the base year for the Kyoto Protocol, which mandates emissions cuts for signatory nations.

The continued suspension of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant and other nuclear reactors, as well as lower operating rates at hydroelectric power stations because of a nationwide draught, have made the country more reliant on coal-fired power plants. The government attributes a 23 million ton increase in CO2 emissions to the suspension of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, and another 73 million ton rise to the drought.

Without the lower nuclear plant productivity, the study projected that CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels would have dropped 0.7% in the same period.

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