Conference of the Parties (COP)

In 1992, an international environmental climate treaty was adopted called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Since 1995, all states that are Parties to the Convention gather at the COP annually, and review the implementation of the Convention and discuss not only mitigation but also adaptation or climate finance. In 1997, Kyoto Protocol was adopted which obliged developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emission until 2020. Historic Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, which for the first time brings all nations to combat climate change.

The Paris Agreement aims to keep a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To reach these goals, we need decarbonize our world as soon as possible. Furthermore, it is clear that building any new coal fired power plant is incompatible with this 1.5 goal, and need to phase out existing coal power plants. Despite this, Japan has been keep providing finance into coal power plants both domestically and internationally. Japan’s coal financing has been criticised by international society many occasions, especially at COPs.

Japan is the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally. Taking into account historical responsibility to causing climate change, Japan must immediately reduce GHG emissions domestically drastically but also need support developing countries for transition to zero carbon, but Japan still continues to export coal power plants to developing countries claiming it helps developing countries.

If Japan keeps continue to support coal, Japan again will face heavy criticism at the COP. Japan must announce coal phase out, namely stop constructing any new coal power plants anywhere, raise ambition to cut GHG emission, and shift to renewable energy and rights based support for developing countries not coal.