The Japanese government announced a dramatic turn in its energy policy Friday, vowing to make the densely populated island nation nuclear-free by the 2030s.
Last year’s tsunami-triggered disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power complex forced evacuation of more than 160,000 and contaminated huge swaths of territory north of Tokyo. Prior to the accident, nuclear plants provided nearly a third of Japan’s power generation and the government had planned to increase that proportion to more than half.
In unveiling the new policy, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda acknowledged that the vast majority of Japanese support the zero option on nuclear power. The new blueprint calls for investing almost $500 billion over the next two decades to expand renewable sources like wind and solar power, the NHK broadcast network reported.
The energy plan sets forward a three-pronged approach to phasing out nuclear power generation after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that inundated the Fukushima plant and set off the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986 in Ukraine.
This is why the 21st century is the Asian century, as America and the West continue to fall behind. We’ve become complacent thinking the habits of the past will remain unchanged. We’ve believed the view of the “sceptics” – too timid and scared to embrace the knowledge that climate change is real – that turning away from fossil fuels would ruin our economies and way of life.
The sad thing is that it took the loss of 15,000 lives and country-wide devastation to prompt this move: but we have certain knowledge that climate change is real, and that choices are available.
Can we end are dependence on fossil fuels and coal?
Yes we can.