Japan Must Keep Their Promise to Reduce Greenhouse Gasses


Target: Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan

Goal: Pressure Japan to uphold its promise to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25%

Japan has recently backpedaled on its promise to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25% of 1990 levels no later than 2020. This comes as a great disappointment to environmental groups, who criticize Japan for undermining United Nations climate talks in Warsaw. Japan must follow through on its commitment to reduce emissions if international efforts to do so are to move forward.

The Fukushima meltdown was blamed for Japan’s pledge to instead increase greenhouse gasses by only 3% (as announced by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga). While this new target assumes that Japan will completely abandon nuclear energy in the future, it represents a trend of wealthy nations to abandon their previous commitments to curb greenhouse gasses. Japan is currently the world’s third largest economy, and fifth largest carbon polluter.

When wealthier nations such as Japan refuse to curb their greenhouse gas emissions, it puts the burden of addressing climate change on poorer countries who have contributed least to the problem. It also sets a terrible example for other developed countries by reducing pressure on them to uphold their own commitments. Chair of Friends of the Earth International Jagoda Munic put it plainly: “The world urgently needs ambitious emissions reductions. Instead, industrialized countries are now going backwards after dragging their heels for two decades. This is unacceptable.”

By signing this petition you let Japan know that the world is watching. Reject their claim that reductions in greenhouse gasses are impossible if they are also to abandon nuclear energy; tell Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga that Japan must maintain their original promise to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25% of 1990 levels no later than 2020.


Dear Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Yoshihide Suga,

You recently announced to the world that Japan will not work to keep its promise to reduce greenhouse gasses by 25% of 1990 levels by 2020, but instead will seek a target of a 3% increase. While the Fukushima meltdown has pushed your country to look to alternatives to nuclear power, abandoning the pledge to reduce emissions is unacceptable. Your announcement has drawn criticism from environmental groups because it undermines international efforts to address climate change, and sets a dangerous example for other developed nations.

As the world’s third largest economy, and fifth largest polluter, Japan has the opportunity to inspire other nations by reducing emissions while simultaneously abandoning nuclear energy. The Fukushima disaster continues to pose serious challenges to your nation and citizens–but it cannot be an excuse for giving up on environmental stewardship.

The stakes are too high to waste this opportunity to show a real commitment to the environment and the future of our world. And the world is watching. I urge you to uphold Japan’s original promise to reduce emissions by 25%.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Belinda Rain via NARA

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269 Signatures

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