(6月29日 17時30分)


G20 summit: World leaders agree on climate deal,Deutsche Welle,19.6.29

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday said world leaders at the G20 summit would sign a climate change deal similar to that signed in Argentina last year.

"We will have a similar text to Argentina. A 19+1 declaration," Merkel told reporters on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Osaka.

Merkel said the US accepted the other 19 members' determination to fight climate change, but would not be committing themselves.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed that the leaders had found common ground on climate change despite "big differences" in the members' views.

At the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, most countries reaffirmed their commitment to the landmark 2016 Paris Agreement on tackling climate change. They declared the accord "irreversible" and committed to its "full implementation." 

The US, however, said it was committed to withdrawing from the Paris Agreement and "affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security."

"In our view, climate change will determine the destiny of mankind, so it is imperative that our generation makes the right choices," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a news conference with his French counterpart and UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres following climate change talks.



G20 summit puts focus on how Fukushima hit Japan climate plans,FT.com,19.6.28

Coal and gas consumption in Japan has soared since 2011’s nuclear accident to help fill the power gap

When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrote in the pages of the FT last year, he urged the world to act “swiftly” to combat climate change and to take “more robust actions”. “Climate change can be life-threatening to all generations,” he wrote. “The problem is exacerbating more quickly than we expected.”

As Japan prepares to host the G20 summit at the end of this month, however, the country’s commitment to climate action is about to be put to the test. The summit will set the tone for the world’s largest economies at a time when global carbon emissions are rising. New national climate targets are expected later this year under the Paris climate accord.

In previous G20 summits the role of the US — which, under the Trump administration, plans to withdraw from the Paris climate pact — has been in the spotlight. This year more scrutiny will focus on Japan’s climate record.

Japan is one of the only developed countries that is still building new coal plants. It is a big funder of coal projects internationally. This month it did adopt a plan to become “carbon neutral” by the end of the century, though without naming a specific date. It kept its 2050 decarbonisation goal unchanged, targeting an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by then.

Ahead of the G20 summit in Tokyo, a growing number of Japanese companies have called for more renewable energy. A letter this month signed by technology multinational Fujitsu, the conglomerate Sony, construction company Daiwa House and a dozen others urged the government to adopt a target of 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.

Environmental groups have been highly critical of Japan’s policies. They argue that there is no plan to wean the country off its dependence on coal. “It is quite an unfortunate path,” says Kimiko Hirata, international director at the Kiko Network, an environmental group. “Japan is in the position of lagging behind other countries in terms of renewable energy,” she adds, pointing out that 17 coal fired power plants are under construction. “The actual [climate policy] situation in Japan has become quite bad.”

 One year ago, a heatwave that swept across the country, killing more than 1,000 people, highlighted the deadly impacts of climate change, which is contributing to more frequent and severe heatwaves around the world.

Yet, in the approach to the G20 summit, Japan has been criticised for its climate record. Coal fired power plants are a key source of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.

This represents a big turnround for a country that used to be synonymous with climate action, after lending its name to the Kyoto protocol of 1997.

Following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, and the subsequent suspension of Japan’s nuclear fleet, consumption of coal and gas soared to help fill the gap left by the nuclear closures.

Since 2012, about 50 new coal plants have been planned in Japan, according to data from Kiko Network. Though 13 have been cancelled, another 13 are already operating. With the future of nuclear power still unclear — many reactors are supposed to reopen, but this has been repeatedly delayed — coal is set to continue to be part of Japan’s energy supply for decades. It provides about a third of Japan’s power today, and is expected to produce a quarter in 2030, according to official forecasts.

International pressure to move away from coal has been rising. A report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year found that coal use would have to fall to zero by 2050, in order to limit global warming to 1.5C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Amid a global wave of “no-coal” policies, the UK plans to phase out coal by 2025. France plans to close its coal plants by 2022. In Japan, some individual companies have pledged not to fund new coal-fired power plants, including Mitsubishi and Marubeni. The government itself has not indicated a coal phase-out date.

“After the nuclear accident there were a lot of different paths Japan could have taken,” says Han Chen, international policy manager at NRDC, a US environmental group. “Instead of investing in low carbon growth, Japan stuck with importing tonnes of coal and liquefied natural gas.” Estimates suggest that government-supported financing for international coal projects totalled about $15bn between 2013 and 2018, according to NRDC.

Many environmental campaigners say the G20 could be a powerful voice for climate policy but they do not expect that it will be so this year. Japan’s draft G20 communiqué, they note, omits the phrases “global warming” and “decarbonisation” and, when compared with previous communiqués, downplays the Paris climate accord. “I’m quite pessimistic,” says Ms Hirata.

“Because Japan [has] tried to avoid facing the issue of climate change,” she argues, “it cannot send any strong signal to the outside world.”



Bolsonaro says Germany has much to learn from Brazil on deforestation; NGOs ask EU to halt Mercosur talks,Merco Press,19.6.28

President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday Germany has “a lot to learn” from Brazil when it comes to the environment, hitting back at criticism over deforestation in the Amazon. Bolsonaro made the remarks in Japan on the eve of the G20 summit, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday she would seek “straight talk” with the Brazilian leader over destruction of the rainforest.

 “Brazil can be an example for Germany even in the environment,” Bolsonaro told reporters shortly after arriving in Osaka.

“Their industry continues to be fossil, largely coal, and ours no, so they have a lot to learn from us.”

While Bolsonaro said he was prepared to discuss the issue with Merkel, he was not like some previous Brazilian presidents who “came to be reprimanded by other countries.”
“We don't accept being treated like in the past,” he said.



Activists ask leaders at G20 to urge Japan to uphold commercial whaling ban,Deutsche Werlle,19.6.28









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