TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) - Japan is considering cutting emissions of greenhouse gases by around 25 percent by 2030, up from an earlier target of about 20 percent, as its contribution to a global summit in Paris on climate change later this year, media reports said on Friday.
The target is still lower than that outlined by the United States, which says it will cut emissions by as much as 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 and the European Union which is proposing at least a 40 percent cut from 1990 levels by 2030.
Japan is the world’s fifth-biggest emitter of climate warming carbon dioxide, but has watered down earlier emissions targets due to the shutdown of its nuclear plants after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, with utilities burning record amounts of coal and gas for power generation.
Japan is considering a pledge to reduce emissions by around 25 percent by 2030, compared with 2013 levels, Asahi newspaper reported.
The Nikkei reported that the government will propose cutting emissions by slightly above 25 percent, versus an earlier target of around 20 percent, by 2030 from 2013 or 2005 levels.
Industry ministry raised the number to meet requests for a higher target, the Nikkei added.
Japan’s greenhouse-gas emissions rose to the second-highest on record in the year ended March 2014, reflecting a rise in coal-fired power after the indefinite closure of nuclear power plants, government figures show.
Japan is aiming to announce its carbon emissions targets at the Group of Seven meeting in Germany in early June, and trying to finalise the breakdown for power generation mix for 2030 as early as this month as a basis for finalising emissions targets.
The government has proposed making nuclear energy account for between 20 and 22 percent of the country’s electricity mix by 2030, with renewable energy to account for slightly more, media reported on Friday.
Nuclear power contributed to about 30 percent of Japan’s electricity supply before the Fukushima disaster. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Himani Sarkar)