Masaharu Nakagawa, Japan’s Environment Minister, said that Chugoku Electric Power will need to offset emissions from a planned coal-fired power plant through such steps as shutting down old fossil fuel capacity. He warned that the project potentially threatens the nation’s ability to meet its climate goals.
In an Environmental Impact Assessment to be submitted to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Nakagawa said that Chugoku Electric is seeking to build a heavily polluting plant at a time when Japan is already finding it challenging to achieve its emissions reduction targets.
Chugoku Electric plans to break ground on the 1000 MW plant in the western prefecture of Shimane in November 2018, and bring it online in 2022. Coal accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the company’s power generation, double the national average.
Nakagawa said that he will let the project go forward, but that he demanded steps to mitigate its impact, such as scrapping or suspending old, less efficient fossil fuel facilities or limiting use of the new plant.