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Climate policies after Fukushima : three views

  • The 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and the consequent accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, have had consequences far beyond Japan itself. Reactions to the accident in three major economies Japan, the UK, and Germany, all of whom were committed to relatively ambitious climate change targets prior to the accident are examined. In Japan and Germany, the accident precipitated a major change of policy direction. In the UK, debate has been muted and there has been essentially no change in energy or climate change policies. The status of the energy and climate change policies in each country prior to the accident is assessed, the responses to the accident are described, and the possible impacts on their positions in theThe 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and the consequent accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, have had consequences far beyond Japan itself. Reactions to the accident in three major economies Japan, the UK, and Germany, all of whom were committed to relatively ambitious climate change targets prior to the accident are examined. In Japan and Germany, the accident precipitated a major change of policy direction. In the UK, debate has been muted and there has been essentially no change in energy or climate change policies. The status of the energy and climate change policies in each country prior to the accident is assessed, the responses to the accident are described, and the possible impacts on their positions in the international climate negotiations are analysed. Finally, the three countries' responses are compared and some differences between them observed. Some reasons for their different policy responses are suggested and some themes, common across all countries, are identified. Policy relevance: The attraction of nuclear power has rested on the promise of low-cost electricity, low-carbon energy supply, and enhanced energy independence. The Fukushima accident, which followed the Japanese tsunami of March 2011, has prompted a critical re-appraisal of nuclear power. The responses to Fukushima are assessed for the UK, Germany, and Japan. Before the accident, all three countries considered nuclear as playing a significant part in climate mitigation strategies. Although the UK Government has continued to support nuclear new build following a prompt review of safety arrangements, Japan and Germany have decided to phase out nuclear power, albeit according to different timescales. The factors that explain the different decisions are examined, including patterns of energy demand and supply, the wider political context, institutional arrangements, and public attitudes to risk. The implications for the international climate negotiations are also assessed.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Jim Skea, Stefan LechtenböhmerORCiDGND, Jusen Asuka
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-47018
Year of Publication:2013
Language:English
Source Title (English):Climate policy
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2013.756670
Volume:13
Issue:S01
First Page:36
Last Page:54
Division:Zukünftige Energie- und Industriesysteme
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Politik
Licence:License LogoIn Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt