SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) - Less than a week since signing the global climate deal in Paris, Japan and South Korea are pressing ahead with plans to open scores of new coal-fired power plants, casting doubt on the strength of their commitment to cutting CO2 emissions. Even as many of the world's rich nations seek to phase out the use of coal, Asia's two most developed economies are burning more than ever and plan to add at least 60 new coal-fired power plants over the next 10 years. Officials at both countries' energy ministries said those plans were unchanged. Japan, in particular, has been criticized for its lack of ambition - its 18-percent target for emissions cuts from 1990 to 2030 is less than half of Europe's - and questions have been raised about its ability to deliver, since the target relies on atomic energy, which is very unpopular after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant. "It will not be easy to change the dynamic for domestic coal use, but I think Japan cannot continue ignoring this," said Kimiko Hirata, international director at Kiko Network, a Japanese NGO that lobbies for measures to combat climate change. "Eventually Japanese businesses will start recognizing the meaning of emissions neutrality and the rapid shift to renewables in other countries and start responding," said Hirata, who attended the Paris negotiations. Analysts say Japan and South Korea could reduce carbon emissions by much more than they pledged in Paris. "The focus in Asia has been more on China and India, so we haven't seen much attempt to put pressure on Japan and South Korea yet. But I imagine pressure will start to increase," said senior analyst Georgina Hayden at BMI Research, a unit of ratings agency Fitch Group. CAUGHT NAPPING South Korea did scrap plans for four coal-fired power plants as part of its pledge to the Paris summit, but 20 new plants are still planned by 2021. In Japan, 41 new coal-fired power plants are planned over the next decade, and taxes favor imports of coal over cleaner-burning natural gas. In South Korea, tax on imported coal for power generation was raised in July, but is still only just over a third of the import tax on natural gas. Coal-fired power plants there currently run at about 80 percent of capacity, compared with 35-40 percent for gas plants, according to calculations based on data from Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), the country's largest power utility. When asked if the Paris agreement could lead the Korean government to reduce the planned number of coal-fired plants, an energy ministry spokesman declined to comment, but a ministry official with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity that there was no change in the offing. KEPCO declined to comment. Japan's environment ministry also declined to comment, but an official said, anonymously, that the Paris climate deal would have no impact on the ministry's assessments of coal plants. Japan's Electric Power Development Co Ltd, the country's top thermal coal user, said the Paris deal would have no impact on its coal plans. "Our stance on new coal plants is unchanged," a spokesman said, adding that emissions would be cut as aging coal plants were replaced by new ones using the latest technology. Mutsuyoshi Nishimura, a former climate negotiator for Japan, said Japanese industry and the government had been caught napping by the Paris agreement and were "awfully reluctant to visualize the coming of the 'non-fossil world'". "They were too caught up in the belief that industrialization and economic growth would entail such huge CO2 emissions in developing countries that China, India etc. would oppose any notion of decarbonization," he said. To be sure, China uses vastly more coal and has nearly a thousand more such plants in various stages of planning and construction. But it has also recently reformed its gas price system to encourage a switch away from coal. "We haven't seen that kind of commitment from Japan or South Korea yet," said BMI's Hayden. (Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Singapore,; Meeyoung Cho in Seoul and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; Editing by Will Waterman)
A Chinese father who reportedly tutored his son daily for a year went viral for bursting into tears after his son scored six out of 100 points on a math exam. The child’s parents from Zhengzhou, Henan Province, received his test score on June 23. Upon learning that their son had only received six points for his final math test, the father burst into tears, as seen in a video posted to Weibo by Qilu Evening News.
Kardashian was seen next to her husband as he was reportedly taken into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on a stretcher Tuesday
The famous public figure's meme centered on Donald Trump's apparent belief that he's entitled to grab whatever he wants.
An Arizona grandmother and food delivery driver used her final moments to help police catch her suspected killer, authorities say. Pamela Rae Martinez, 60, was able to snap a photo of the man believed to have shot her to death along West Bell Road on Saturday, June 11, shortly after she had completed her last food delivery for the night. Rusty French, 62, is now facing charges of second-degree murder in Martinez’s death after investigators found the tell-tale photo on the woman’s phone, accordin
Trump rattles off a dozen livid social media posts in 2 hours as ex-aide gives explosive testimony to Jan. 6 panel: 'A Total Phony!!!'
The former president called Hutchinson, a former White House aide, every name he could muster as she detailed his actions on January 6.
- National Review
Macron told Biden that the United Arab Emirates’ ruler informed him that OPEC’s top oil exporters were already at their production maximum.
- Shadow and Act
'The View': Whoopi Goldberg Sends Warning To Clarence Thomas Amid Roe Rollback: 'He Better Hope That They Don't Come For You' With Loving
Whoopi Goldberg has a stern warning for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, saying that a Roe rollback could res
- Ukrayinska Pravda
The media receive copies of intercepted conversations between the Russian pilots who launched missiles on Ukraine on 25 June
DENYS KARLOVSKYI - TUESDAY, 28 JUNE 2022, 18:01 Belarusian journalist Anton Motolko has published the intercepted conversations between Russian military pilots and dispatchers on 25 June, when missiles were launched from the airspace of Belarus.
Stars arrived at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the 2022 BET Awards celebrating Black...
- Palm Beach Daily News
- USA TODAY Sports
Y’all this is so hot.
- The Hill
Boebert says she is ‘tired’ of separation between church and state: ‘The church is supposed to direct the government’
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) says she is “tired” of the long-standing separation between church and state in the U.S., adding that she believes “the church is supposed to direct the government.” In a Sunday speech at the Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt, Colo., ahead of her primary election on Tuesday, Boebert argued that “the government…
- Golf Channel
Brooks Koepka said he’s allowed to change his opinions. However, he seemed reluctant to explain his reasoning during Tuesday's LIV presser.
- Women's Health
'Mad Men' star January Jones posted a photo in her underwear showing off her super sculpted abs and long, nude legs post knee surgery. She does Lagree workouts.
- In The Know by Yahoo
The reason you’ve been feeling sick might be from your water bottle: ‘That’s why tumblers are a NO for me’
This doctor may have the explanation for why you've been feeling under the weather lately. It may have to do with what's in your to-go cup.
- In The Know by Yahoo
A high school science teacher asked her students to make her laugh for extra credit on a recent assignment, and her class certainly delivered.
- WSB Cox articles
A former assistant to former President Donald Trump gave blockbuster testimony in a surprise hearing held by the January 6th Committee on Tuesday.
- Shadow and Act
'The View' Says 'How Stupid Is She?' For Sarah Huckabee Sanders' Abortion Comments, Calls It 'Dumbest Statement Of The Day'
Monday's episode of The View deemed Sarah Huckabee Sanders's abortion comments as "the dumbest statement of the day." As reported by Decider, She made remarks after the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.