The earthquake that terrorized Japan in 2011 led to the shutdown of nuclear energy. There was an increase in CO2 emissions by 11.8 percent from 2010 to 2014. Could the reported increase be caused by the shutdown after the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant disaster?
Sources claim the rise in emissions wasn’t much of a rise at all, at least since 2007. The thought is that while fossil fuel increased to make up for the gap of missing nuclear power usage, Japan was already experiencing an increase in emissions.
The good news is that while from 2011 to 2014 Japanese imports of coal rose by eight percent and liquefied natural gas (LNG) by nine percent in order to compensate for the earthquake aftermath, carbon emissions have remained about the same.
Other medias may claim there has been a significant rise in emissions. This may be due to a short-sighted look at only the rise in emissions between 2010 and 2014. In this time, emissions from natural gas increased by 20.2% and increased by 8.1% from coal. But if you look at the big picture, it doesn’t seem that the shutdown of nuclear energy led to a severe increase in overall emissions.
Japan has had an increase in emissions since 1973. That’s why the government planned on relying a whole lot more on nuclear energy before the earthquake destroyed said plausible line of action.
This doesn’t mean Japan has nothing to worry about. In July 2015, the “Long-Term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook” was put into action to finally address Japan’s emissions problem. Created to combat climate change, the Outlook predicts a rebound to nuclear energy and declines in fossil fuel usage.
The most important? The Outlook predicts increases in renewable energy, which is the best Japan can hope for.