If global temperature rise exceeds 1.5-degrees above pre-industrial levels, millions of people may be at risk of extreme heatwaves, drought, and flooding, noted John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, during a July 20 speech. But he also added there was a way to reduce the predicted increase in global temperatures:
“There is still time to put a safer 1.5 degree Centigrade future back within reach. But only if every major economy commits to meaningful reductions by 2030, that is the only way to put the world on a credible track to global net zero by midcentury.”
During a late August visit to Tokyo, Special Envoy Kerry discussed the two countries’ efforts to fight climate change. The United States is the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, after China. Japan is seventh on that list.
Japan committed to achieving several ambitious targets within the next 30 years. During a meeting with Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, Mr. Kerry said,
“Japan made some tough decisions, Japan has set a goal of 45, 46 to 50 percent reduction in emissions in the next 10 years, and to get on the path to net zero by 2050.”
It is increasingly obvious that measures to control greenhouse gas emissions must accelerate if global temperature rise is to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Thus, under the U.S.-Japan Climate Partnership, the United States and Japan agreed to enhance their cooperation on innovation in areas such as renewable energy, carbon capture and industrial decarbonization, and to support the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate.
Both countries agreed to end new direct government support for unabated international coal-fired power generation by the end of 2021. In addition, each will endeavor to deliver its share of the $100 billion dollars per year pledged by developed countries in support of efforts by developing countries to build resilience to climate impacts, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and move toward net-zero carbon futures.
The United States and Japan are committed to making this the decisive decade for climate action, and to ensuring their collaborative efforts on the climate crisis endures as a pillar of the U.S.-Japan bilateral partnership.