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2014年9月26日 (金)

社説:気象サミット 新枠組みの交渉加速を

September 25, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: Speed up talks on new framework for carbon emissions
社説:気象サミット 新枠組みの交渉加速を

One could say that international negotiations on global warming countermeasures have gained momentum.
Leading figures from roughly 120 countries assembled in New York for the 2014 U.N. Climate Summit on Sept. 23 -- the largest such gathering of leaders at an event discussing global warming.

Many countries declared that they would release targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards by March next year. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the summit "has shown that we can rise to the climate challenge."

Ahead of the gathering, an estimated 300,000 people participated in a demonstration in New York, calling for global warming countermeasures. This is surely a sign that people across the world who have faced abnormal weather and a spate of natural disasters deeply feel there is no time to lose in adopting global warming countermeasures.

However, the summit mostly served as a forum for each country to state its position on measures against global warming, maintaining a distance from the negotiation table. We hope that world leaders will speed up discussions while working toward a new framework for reductions in emissions, without forgetting pledges made at the summit.

Following on from the Kyoto Protocol, international society plans to adopt a new framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards at the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), to be held in Paris at the end of next year. In November last year, an agreement was reached to aim to have all countries, including developing countries, participate, with as many as possible presenting their own reduction targets by March 2015.

At the summit, U.S. President Barack Obama stated that the United States would meet its goal of cutting carbon emissions by roughly 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. He stressed that the United States and China have a special responsibility in formulating global warming countermeasures, as they together account for some 40 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions.

China also declared that it would level off its emissions as soon as possible. Like the U.S. and the European Union, China indicated that it would present its own reduction target for 2020 onwards by March next year.

Clearly the U.S. and China are trying to seize the initiative in negotiations. However, they haven't exactly been proactive in their global warming countermeasures to date. We cannot allow a situation in which the two countries lead negotiations and water down the effectiveness of a new framework.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined a plan to assist developing countries in training weather and disaster-prevention experts, but did not set a time for presenting a reduction target for carbon emissions. This is because Japan has yet to determine future ratios of electricity sources, such as nuclear power and renewable energy. But Japan is the world's fifth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide and if it does not present a reduction target by March next year, it will not be able to escape criticism. The nation needs to quickly advance domestic discussion on the issue.

Considering Japan's experience with the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it is unrealistic for the country to rely on nuclear power to counter global warming. What it needs to do is to step up energy conservation and the introduction of renewable energy. It also needs an approach that will lead to innovation and the development of regional economies.

毎日新聞 2014年09月25日 02時35分


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