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Japan's greenhouse gas emissions rose 2% in FY21/22 as economy recovered
Japan's greenhouse gas emissions rose 2.0% in the year through March 2022, the first increase in eight years, government data showed on Friday, as industrial activity picked up from the COVID-19 pandemic-induced slump.
Emissions for the 2021/22 financial year climbed to the equivalent of 1.17 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from 1.15 billion tonnes a year earlier, showed data from the Ministry of the Environment.
The increase came after emissions fell in 2020/21 to the lowest since data collection began in 1990/91.
Japan, the world's fifth-biggest carbon emitter, aims to reduce emissions by 46% from 2013 levels by 2030. If achieved, 2030 emissions will be 0.76 billion tonnes.
The 2021/22 figure represents a reduction of 16.9% from 2013.
"The increase in 2021/22 was due to a boost in energy consumption to reflect economic recovery from the pandemic-induced slump," Fumio Ito, a director of the ministry, told reporters.
Still, the figure was 3% lower than the pre-pandemic 2019/20 year, indicating progress toward the 2030 target, he said.
"We are neither optimistic nor pessimistic about achieving the 2030 goal. We need to make steady progress in our measures to meet the target."
The amount of greenhouse gases absorbed by forests and other sources in 2021/22 was 47.6 million tonnes, representing the first rise in four years, the ministry said.
Emissions surged after the 2011 nuclear power station meltdown in Fukushima prompted the shut down of reactors and heightened reliance on fossil fuels. They peaked at 1.4 billion tonnes in 2013/14 before falling due to increased use of renewable energy and resumed use of some nuclear plants.
Renewable energy accounted for 20.3% of the 1.03 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity generated in 2021/22, up 0.5 percentage point on the previous year.
Nuclear energy rose 3.0 percentage points to 6.9%, while thermal power made up 72.8%, down 3.5 percentage point, government data showed.
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