Japan to Cut CO2 Emissions 15% by 2020

This is in line with what the European Union and the United States are doing. Japan is the 5th biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and critics say this cut is not enough.

Three important greenhouse gases are water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). The reason why they are greenhouse gases is because although they’re almost transparent to sunlight, they absorb infrared radiation from the sun capturing a lot of heat near the planet’s surface.

The destroyers of humanity?

The destroyers of humanity?

All animals breathe out CO2. Cattle (who have four stomachs) breathe out CH4 as well. There’s also a large amount of CH4 trapped under the frozen tundra in Russia, which can be released into the atmosphere if the tundra thaws. Oil, trees and coal are also mainly carbon, and when burned they release CO2 into the atmosphere.

Humans are responsible for a part of the total amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere because humans burn oil, trees, coal and breed billions of cattle. The question is how much does this affect the temperature. It does affect it, but exactly what are the consequences? Is the human impact significant in relation to the normal impact of ice ages, ocean currents, volcanoes and the solar cycle? Even tiny changes can have a big impact on human life. Just consider the fact that if the human body heats over 5 degrees Celsius, it can die. The ball of rock we’re standing on and bacteria don’t care the least bit about what we do though.

Update: The US and China didn’t say anything worthwhile during the EU summit on climate change on September 22nd, despite the increasing necessity of taking action as soon as possible. However, Japan, that ended 50 years of conservative rule last week took one step forward and declared to be willing to cut all greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020. Sweden can only assume the role of model for these big economies as our impact on the climate is comparatively tiny, but we’ve set 40% as our goal.


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