--The Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 20
EDITORIAL: Japan should speed efforts to join fight against global warming
(社説)温暖化対策 取り組みを加速せよ

The world’s fight against global warming is picking up steam.
地球温暖化に立ち向かう世界の潮流は勢いを増している。

Japan should respond and ramp up its own efforts in both the public and private sectors to help tackle the challenge.
それを見誤ることなく、官民の取り組みを加速させるべきだ。

First of all, Japan should ratify the Paris Agreement, a landmark international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2020.
まずは、2020年以降の地球温暖化対策を決めた新たな国際的枠組み「パリ協定」の批准を急ぎたい。

The new climate accord is now on track to become operational as early as by the end of the year.
パリ協定は年内にも発効する見通しになった。

Early this month, the United States and China, the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, announced they will ratify the Paris Agreement. Their actions have greatly improved the prospect of the agreement taking effect quickly.
二酸化炭素など温室効果ガスの排出で世界1、2位の中国と米国が今月初め、足並みをそろえて協定締結を発表し、発効に必要な条件に大きく近づいたからだ。

Even after the new climate deal was adopted during the United Nations conference on climate change in December, the Japanese government has shown little enthusiasm for revitalizing its faltering efforts to stem climate change.
パリ協定が昨年末の国連気候変動会議(COP〈コップ〉21)で採択された後も、日本政府の動きは鈍かった。

Betting that the pact would take effect around 2018, the government apparently opted to wait and see the moves of big emitters before deciding on its response.
「発効は18年ごろ。対応は大排出国の動向を見極めてからでいい」との姿勢だった。

The Kyoto Protocol, an agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions negotiated in 1997 with Japan playing a pivotal role, required only industrialized nations to achieve their emissions targets and put no limits on the amount of gas that China, a developing country, can spew into the atmosphere. The United States later withdrew from the agreement.
日本が尽力して1997年に採択された京都議定書では、中国が途上国として削減義務を負わず、米国は途中で離脱。

The Japanese business community criticized the Kyoto Protocol as unfair. The March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami has further blunted public interest in measures to stem global warming in Japan.
不公平だと訴える声が経済界などに広がった。東日本大震災もあって、温暖化への関心自体が薄れていた。

However, the international community has become increasingly concerned about the expected consequences of rising global temperatures. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that the United States and China have abandoned their previous reluctance and made a solid commitment to tackling the challenge.
だが、消極姿勢を一変させた米中に代表される通り、国際社会は危機感を強めている。

That’s because it has become even clearer that human activities are the principal causes of the warming of this planet, which is believed by many scientists to be causing an increasing number of extreme weather events such as severe heat waves and destructive torrential rains.
人類の活動が温暖化を招いていることが一層確実になり、温暖化との関連性が濃厚な熱波や豪雨なども頻発しているからだ。

Japan has submitted to the United Nations its own emissions target in relation to the Paris Agreement. It has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent from fiscal 2013 levels by fiscal 2030.
パリ協定に関して、日本は温室効果ガスの排出量を「30年度に13年度比26%減らす」との目標を国連に提出済みだ。

In the Ise-Shima Group of Seven summit held in May in Japan, the leaders of the seven major countries committed themselves to developing before 2020 long-term strategies for achieving economic growth while curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
さらに5月の伊勢志摩サミットでは、ガスの排出を抑えつつ発展していく長期戦略を20年を待たずにつくることを申し合わせた。

But debate on such a strategy has just started at a government council.
ただ、戦略的な議論は政府の審議会でようやく始まったところだ。

The panel needs to consider a range of new ideas and proposals that would significantly affect society and industry. They include carbon pricing, which means charging for carbon emissions by businesses offering products and services so that the costs of dealing with the problem are reflected in the price tags.
Another potentially effective approach is using land under plans integrating environmental, economic and local development factors.
製品やサービスの提供に伴うガス排出量を価格に反映させる「カーボンプライシング」や、環境と経済、街づくりを一体に考える土地利用など、社会や産業のあり方にかかわる新たな発想や試みも課題になろう。

Nuclear power generation, which emits less greenhouse gases during operations than thermal power production burning fossil fuels, is often cited as an effective means to cut emissions.
運転時のガス排出が少ない原子力発電の活用もしばしば議論にのぼる。

However, given the enormous cost and difficulty of disposing of radioactive waste and the vast damage caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, relying on nuclear power generation should not be an option.
だが、廃棄物処理の費用と難しさ、福島第一原発事故が示した被害の大きさを考えると、原発頼みは許されない。

To reduce its carbon footprint, Japan needs to expand the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power and geothermal energy, while making all-out efforts to curb energy consumption. It will also help to use the heat generated from plants and buildings for supplying air conditioning and hot water in the local communities.
省エネを徹底しつつ、太陽光や風力、地熱など再生可能エネルギーをさらに導入する。工場やビルの廃熱を地域の冷暖房や給湯に生かす。

Such efforts toward higher energy self-efficiency and energy recycling will also contribute to the nation’s security, promote technological innovations and suit urban development projects.
エネルギーの自給自足や循環を意識した取り組みは、安全保障の観点からも望ましく、技術革新を促し、街づくりとも相性がいい。

The challenge facing the government is to map out an innovative strategy to ensure the implementation of effective policy measures to combat global warming while encouraging businesses, local governments and citizens to make long-term efforts to secure the health of the planet.
温暖化対策を大きな軸に、企業や自治体、市民による多様で息の長い挑戦を促す。そんな構想力が政府に求められている。

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