Japan approves plan to adapt to global warming

The Sai no Kizuna rice, which was developed to resist high temperatures and typhoons, is one such adaptation to climate-change related phenomena.
The Sai no Kizuna rice, which was developed to resist high temperatures and typhoons, is one such adaptation to climate-change related phenomena.PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

TOKYO • Japan's Cabinet approved a climate change adaptation plan on Tuesday (Nov 27) that is aimed at countering the dangers caused by global warming, including disasters and the impact on farm produce, among other problems.

The adaptation plan - a revision of one drawn up in 2015 - was compiled ahead of the Climate Change Adaptation Law taking effect in December. The law is aimed at creating a society that can keep up with the progression of global warming.

Global warming can be countered through mitigation, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation, by reducing the impact of global warming.

The new plan will make clear which measures will be carried out by which ministry or agency.

The government will set up a panel to promote adaptation with the participation of relevant ministries and agencies. The panel, to be headed by the environment minister, is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Monday.

Ahead of the enforcement of the Climate Change Adaptation Law, the central government and local authorities are already taking steps to protect farm produce from climate change-related phenomena such as record-breaking torrential rain and extreme heat.

Uwajima, in western Japan, was hit by landslides amid heavy rain in July. "In recent years, drought and heavy rain have intensified tremendously," said Mr Keiro Wada, chief of the city government's agricultural and forestry section.

  • 1 deg C

  • The increase in the world's average temperature from before the Industrial Revolution, according to a special report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month. If the warming continues, global average temperature could climb another 1.5 deg C between 2030 and 2052.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry is also studying how to strengthen soil layers to prevent fertile soil from getting washed away by heavy rain.

A special report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month said the world's average temperature has already risen by about 1 deg C from the level before the Industrial Revolution.

If the warming continues, the figure could climb another 1.5 deg C between 2030 and 2052. The United Nations body has listed possible effects of global warming based on temperature increases.

 
 

"It is important to implement measures that fully consider precipitation patterns and temperature fluctuations," said Takasaki City University of Economics professor Takeshi Mizuguchi, who specialises in measures to counter global warming.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2018, with the headline 'Japan approves plan to adapt to global warming'. Print Edition | Subscribe