On 19 November 2020, Japanese lawmakers declared a climate emergency in a symbolic vote aimed at increasing pressure for action to combat global warming after the government last month committed to a firm timetable for net-zero emissions.
The news went around the world when the global news agency Reuters picked it up and featured an article about it which was republished in numerous news outlets.
“I think this can send the message to the world that Japan’s parliament and government are firmly resolved to tackle this aiming at a carbon-free society,” ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Yoshihisa Furukawa told Reuters, speaking before the vote.
The non-binding climate emergency declaration was drafted by a non-partisan and cross-party group of MPs.
“With erratic weather patterns from this year’s record hurricane season in the Atlantic to floods in Europe being linked to climate change, governments around the world face more calls to act even as the coronavirus pandemic rages, sapping resources,” Reuters wrote.
Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and the world’s fifth-biggest carbon emitter.
→ 7News Australia – 19 November 2020:
Japanese MPs declare climate emergency
→ SBS News – 19 November 2020:
Japanese MPs declare climate emergency, weeks after pledge for net zero emissions by 2050
→ Global News Canada – 19 November 2020:
Japan declares climate emergency, citing ‘unprecedented damage’ from weather events