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Risks loom for Queensland as Japan loosens its grip on fossil fuels

Business

Queensland’s biggest LNG customer and second biggest coal buyer, Japan, has announced a major reshaping of its energy mix to curb CO2 emissions.

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The country’s revised energy strategy has increased the role of renewables to 36-38 per cent of power supplies in 2030, double the level of 18 per cent in 2020 and significantly higher than the previous target of 22-24 per cent in 2030.

The draft plan would see coal and gas lose about 7 per cent of market share.

The new draft plan follows reports from the International Energy Agency which said Japan’s reliance on fossil fuels had been declining but still accounted for 90 per cent of energy supply, making Japan among the most carbon-intensive economies of IEA members.

It said Japan needed to accelerate the deployment of low-carbon technologies, remove regulatory barriers and increase competition in its energy markets if it was to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050.

While the new draft plan could have implications for Queensland’s coal and gas producers, the Palaszczuk Government has also been pushing the development of green hydrogen as an export for Japan and Korea.

Australian Conservation Foundation’s exports campaigner Elizabeth Sullivan said Japan has been Australia’s biggest customer for LNG.

“But now it’s getting out of gas,” she said.

“Japan’s revised draft energy plan slashes every fossil fuel export the Australian Government has been trying to grow with this major trading partner.

“The revised draft energy plan suggests Japan is moving quickly to replace its fossil fuel energy with renewable energy, including hydrogen and ammonia, which could be made and shipped from here, using Australia’s abundant renewable resources.”

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