Causes of greenhouse gas emissions in JapanThe largest driver of global warming is the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. The energy conversion sector was responsible for most of the carbon dioxide emissions in Japan. Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011, nuclear energy was replaced by fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum as energy sources with the largest share of primary energy supply, resulting in increased emissions shortly after the disaster.
In terms of non-energy related carbon dioxide emissions, the industry sector was one of the main polluting sectors as it had the largest final energy consumption. Since Japan is one of the global leaders in the manufacturing industry, most emissions here were likely due to the high energy consumption needed for production.
Japan's measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissionsAs a member of the Paris Agreement, Japan intends to reduce its emissions by around 26 percent by 2030, compared to the 2013 value. In 2020, prime minister Suga Yoshihide announced that Japan aimed to be emission-free by 2050 and emphasized the importance of restructuring the energy sector to achieve this. The country is currently focusing on replacing fossil fuels with nuclear and renewable energy, aiming to increase its renewable energy share by up to 24 percent and its nuclear energy share by up to 22 percent by 2030. Most Japanese people agreed that renewable energy generation should be increased to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2019, renewable energy accounted for a share of 18 percent in electricity production, reaching its peak in the past decade, whereas nuclear energy made up just over six percent. In recent years, these measures began to show their effect as figures for the total annual greenhouse gas emissions indicated a decline. Nevertheless, there was international criticism that Japan's measures were not sufficient to counteract global warming.