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Japan, net-zero and a fair chunk of greenwashing

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

A series of Solar Panels part hidden by foliage, nestled in a valley with the mountains of Japan behind.

Japan will be net zero by 2050. We know this to be true because successive Governments have said so. And they are old and wise. Very old. Maybe not so wise.

There might be a hint of greenwashing around the place. The 2035 ban on sales of ICE-powered cars won't extend to Hybrids. We're not building new coal-fired plants. Except we will. Hydrogen is awesome, as long as Australia takes the hit on the CO2 emissions in its production. Let's cut down a bunch of cedar trees to help with hay fever and claim the new ones planted in their place as a carbon credit. God, we need more concrete. There are still some hillsides we need to cover.


My current theory is the Japanese Government is hoping for one of three things to happen:

Enough people die for the population to reach a tipping point where net zero becomes a natural outcome.

They die before 2050, so they can't be held to account (possible given the age of the cabinet)

Somehow, someone (else) does something that everyone gets behind, and amazingly, it all just happens .

Of course, I may have missed something important. There could be a nugget on one of the godawful PowerPoint slides that explodes into an entire strategic framework with hard targets, KPIs and clear accountability.

As much as I love this country, I sometimes want to stand in the middle of the Diet and scream.

Rant ends.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction.

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