Declaration for Protecting Future Generations from the Danger of Global Warming
We are now facing serious and significant dangers due to global warming such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and life and health crises. The damage caused by global warming is a human rights problem for present and future generations.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is warning that in order to minimize the effect of global warming on climate and ecological systems, the total emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from all developed countries must be reduced from the 1990 level by 25-40% by 2020, and by more than 80% by 2050 to keep temperature increase below 2 °C before the industrial revolution.
In order to achieve the above target, we must free ourselves from the fossil fuel dependent mass-production, mass-consumption, and mass-disposal of the 20th century and create a new era based on a sustainable low-carbon economy. Western countries have already completed or are on the path to passing comprehensive legislation for transitioning to the low carbon economy. The world is already taking a big step toward a historical civilizational transformation.
However, the Government of Japan, even after ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in which Japan promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6% from 1990 levels, has not taken the necessary initiative but kept depending on voluntary efforts of every sector to reduce emissions and further promoted an energy strategy dependent on nuclear power leading to increased emissions in 2007 that were 9% above levels in 1990.
From the scientific point of view, we should set mid- and long-term targets to constantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050, take effective measures to reduce the emissions and to create a sustainable low carbon economy, and carry it over to future generations.
The new government which was elected in September 2009 addressed a mid-term target of 25% reduction from 1990 levels by 2020. It has also promised early legislation of a basic act against global warming, including the establishment of a system for domestic emissions trading. As these movements show, Japanese measures to combat global warming are at a turning point. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) welcomes these movements and urges the government to effectively legislate as mentioned below in order to achieve the target set based on scientific perspectives. The JFBA declares its commitment to realize such legislation in cooperation with the people as well as striving to reduce emissions by itself.
- The government should legislate to set a target to increase renewable energy to 20% of primary energy by 2020, and immediately introduce a system to purchase all renewable energy as fixed prices. The government should not permit new construction or expansion of a coal-fired or nuclear plant and existing nuclear plants should be phased out.
- The government should immediately and effectively institutionalize the measures to price carbon emissions. Such measures should include a carbon tax and a domestic emission trading system by capping emissions of entities with massive emissions.
- All measures to tackle global warming, such as transformation from an automobile-dependent society, creation of sustainable cities, and maintenance of forests, should be comprehensively implemented.
- The government should establish an administrative mechanism to comprehensively plan and promote measures for energy and economy as well as for combating global warming. In addition, local governments should be granted more authority and financial resources to tackle global warming.
- Various systems for participation of citizens should be introduced in order to ensure that citizens are provided with sufficient information and their voices are reflected in choosing their safe society in the future.
We declare as above.
November 6, 2009
Japan Federation of Bar Associations