The greenhouse gas emissions of one of the world's biggest carbon emitters, Japan, decreased by 3.9% to a record low in the 2018 fiscal year, according to the country's environment ministry data on Tuesday.
Greenhouse gas emissions in Japan for the 2018 fiscal year, which started on April 1, 2018 and ran until March 31, 2019, fell to 1.24 billion tons, marking the fifth year of decline, the data showed.
The reduction in emissions hit the lowest level since 1990 when Japan started its emissions estimation.
Japan aims to reduce emissions by 26% below 2013 levels by 2030, as part of its commitment under the Paris climate accord. According to the data by the ministry, the latest figures represent a decline of 12% from 2013 levels.
The fall in emissions reflects the expansion of renewable energy sources and the restart of nuclear power reactors suspended after the Fukushima accident.
"The main factor for the decrease in emissions in the fiscal year 2018 as compared to fiscal years of 2017 and 2013 is the decrease in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions due to the reduction in electricity-origin carbon dioxide emissions as a result of low-carbon electricity and reduced energy consumption," the statement said.
Japan is targeting that 22-24% of its 2030 generation will come from renewables, including hydro. The share of total renewable energy generation in 2018 accounted for around 17%, which is 1% higher than the previous year.
The country shut down its nuclear fleet for mandatory safety checks and upgrades after the Fukushima accident in 2011. All reactors remained offline between 2013 and August 2015.
The suspension of Japan's nuclear fleet resulted in significantly greater dependence on liquefied natural gas (LNG), oil, and coal imports to make up for lost domestic nuclear generation.
However, as the country has gradually re-commissioned its nuclear power plants, the share of nuclear energy in the country's electricity consumption has also increased since 2015.
By Firdevs Yuksel