Japan adopts long-term emissions strategy under Paris Agreement

FILE PHOTO: Japan's national flag is seen in front of containers and cranes at an industrial port in Tokyo, Japan, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s cabinet adopted a long-term emissions reduction strategy under the Paris Agreement on Tuesday, including the goal to be carbon-neutral soon after 2050.

The policy includes plans to innovate in areas such as hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and utilization, but did not give a specific target for phasing out low efficiency coal-fired power plants, or a roadmap for a carbon tax.

Japan has been criticized for its heavy use of coal-fired power generation and plans to build new coal-fired plants.

The strategy aims to establish commercial-sized carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technology by 2023, and to commercialize carbon capture and storage (CCS) used in coal-fired power generation by 2030.

It also includes plans to cut the cost of producing CO2-free hydrogen to less than one-tenth by 2050.

The latest document fleshes out how to reach commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius.

The goals mostly reflect recommendations made in April by a government-run panel of academic experts and business leaders.

It will be submitted to the United Nations before June 28-29, when Japan hosts a Group of 20 summit in Osaka, a government official said.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Jan Harvey