Japan Is Backing Oil and Gas Even After COP26 Climate Talks


DECEMBER 3, 2021

By Paul Homewood

Another wheel falls off the COP26 Bandwagon!

It’s been less than a month since world leaders pledged to combat climate change at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, yet Japan is already showing signs of putting the brakes on divestment from fossil fuels.

Government officials have been quietly urging trading houses, refiners and utilities to slow down their move away from fossil fuels, and even encouraging new investments in oil-and-gas projects, according to people within the Japanese government and industry, who requested anonymity as the talks are private.

The officials are concerned about the long-term supply of traditional fuels as the world doubles down on renewable energy, the people said. The import-dependent nation wants to avoid a potential shortage of fuel this winter, as well as during future cold spells, after a deficit last year sparked fears of nationwide blackouts.

Japan joined almost 200 countries last month in a pledge to step up the fight against climate change, including phasing down coal power and tackling emissions. However, the moves by the officials show the struggle to turn those pledges into reality, especially for countries like Japan which relies on imports for nearly 90% of its energy needs, with prices spiking partly because of the world’s shift away from fossil fuel investments.

The nation has been slow to make any concrete commitments to phase out coal in the near term, and has often been criticized for its funding of overseas power plants that use the dirtiest burning fossil fuel. The government has also avoided joining efforts by developed nations to reduce consumption of natural gas.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry declined to comment directly on whether it is encouraging industries to boost investment in upstream energy supply, and instead pointed to a strategic energy plan approved by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet on October 22. That plan says “no compromise is acceptable to ensure energy security, and it is the obligation of a nation to continue securing necessary resources.”

That latest strategy calls for the share of oil and natural gas produced either domestically or under the control of Japanese enterprises overseas to increase from 34.7% in fiscal year 2019 to more than 60% in 2040. Japanese officials plan to convey to other nations the importance attached to continued investments in upstream supply, the people added. 


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Geoff Sherrington
December 3, 2021 6:11 pm

Japan has long been thought to have a high % of educated, rational thinkers and philosophers. Seems they have not gone away. As a bonus, present Japan is a glorious country to visit and appreciate. Geoff S

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
December 3, 2021 8:45 pm

Japan and S Korea are partners on the Timor Sea gasfield bringing them a steady stream of LNG tankers to fuel their nations. Darwin Australia has shed loads of growth in the LNG market once the moron Greens are defeated.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 3, 2021 11:23 pm

You cannot defeat morons, because they are morons, & as such are always right, regardless of which way their wind blows!!! Having said that, they could at least ignite their “wind” to use as a source of energy I guess!!! HAGWE all!!!

Tom Halla
December 3, 2021 6:16 pm

There are a fair number of counties only offering lip service to COP26.

Ron Long
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 4, 2021 2:04 am

Do you mean that the old saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” has been replaced by “the road to hell is now paved with Net Zero lies”?

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Ron Long
December 4, 2021 2:36 am

When I hear the words “net zero”, the net is a web with the UN as a spider in the middle of it …

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Eric Vieira
December 4, 2021 3:10 am

any artists out there who could draw this image Eric just described?

Smart Rock
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 4, 2021 11:55 am

COPouts, you could call them

December 3, 2021 6:35 pm

Australia has huge shale oil deposits in New South Wales and Queensland and many other gas/oil fields that cannot be accessed. UN registered National Parks contain many deposits locked away.

Research Coober Pedy South Australia gas fields.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Dennis
December 3, 2021 8:28 pm

The Austrlian shelf parts of the Timor and Arafura Seas also have lots of undiscovered gas fields.

Alan M
Reply to  Dennis
December 4, 2021 5:08 am

sorry Dennis but shale gas in Australia is totally over-hyped or sprucked by players with limited technical backup

Jeroen B.
Reply to  Alan M
December 4, 2021 9:02 am

[citation needed]

Alan M
Reply to  Jeroen B.
December 4, 2021 2:47 pm

[counter citation needed]

Alan M
Reply to  Jeroen B.
December 4, 2021 3:01 pm

Or perhaps I should have just added
M, A 2021

Reply to  Dennis
December 5, 2021 4:14 am

Ground stresses in Australia are typically not favourable to horizontal drilling used to make wells in the US very productive. In the US one well head can access large amounts of ground because the fracking cracks strongly tend to form vertically.

In Australia the cracks tend to form horizontally, meaning one wellhead tends to be much less productive.

Alan M
Reply to  Dean
December 5, 2021 4:59 am

You can’t say that for all Australian sedimentary basins or even within the one basin. Remember you need a suitable basin with the “right source rocks” then the right burial history with preservation, not an easy combination as with so called conventional hydrocarbons. Lots of hard work, smart thinking and luck will all help

Alan M
Reply to  Dean
December 5, 2021 5:03 am

Should have add that other than the Beetaloo Basin in the NT there is very few positive results

Alan M
Reply to  Alan M
December 6, 2021 7:33 pm

Up-date on the Beetallo Basin

Chris Hanley
December 3, 2021 6:56 pm

Dirty Mix Japan depends on fossil fuels as it struggles to boost clean energy.

If you shut down your nuclear power industry an increase in fossil fuel sourced energy is inevitable, there is no alternative.
Air quality standards in Japan are ‘moderately unsafe’ according to one authority but for what its worth the World Economic Forum rate Japan as third in ranking for ‘cleanest [air] cities’:
” Japan has been a long-time leader in clean air initiatives dating back to the Kyoto Protocol of 1992, which gave the commitment of countries to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions “.
What have adjectives ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ got to do with greenhouse gases, what have greenhouse gases got to do with clean air? — Nothing.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 4, 2021 12:41 am

What have adjectives ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ got to do with greenhouse gases, what have greenhouse gases got to do with clean air? — Nothing.

Quite so. Ask how dirty is the water vapour, the main greenhouse gas released into the air by industry and farming?

Julian Flood
Reply to  Chris Hanley
December 4, 2021 12:47 am

There is an alternative. It involves going hungry in the dark. The UK government is looking at that one.


Reply to  Julian Flood
December 4, 2021 1:45 am

Yes – but only for the plebs!

December 3, 2021 6:58 pm

It’s not hard to envisage a sort of “Mad Max” future scenario where practical people all around the world mobilize in force to re- institute coal as the most accessible, affordable, reliable source of electrical power.

Maybe 2015 babies in 2040?

Reply to  Mr.
December 3, 2021 7:44 pm

Yes, they will be known as the FF Generation. (Fossil Fuel Generation.)

peter schell
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
December 4, 2021 4:19 am

I would have called them the F.U. generation. Because that is likely going to be their attitude toward the older timers who screwed them over.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Mr.
December 3, 2021 8:30 pm

Australia, maybe. Texas, no.

December 3, 2021 7:01 pm

Following the terror attacks earlier this millennium, Australian Prime Minister John Howard described terrorism as the greatest threat to our way of life. I strongly disagreed with him, in my opinion the biggest threat then, and increasingly so now, are the politically correct, the woke, and the so called progressive activists and bureaucrats who are out of touch with the realities of life and slowly strangling society with unrealistic demands.
Perhaps one of the more bizarre sagas forced upon the government by such groups was to purchase submarines designed as nuclear powered but retrofitted for diesel power because of their opposition to nuclear, but now having to purchase nuclear powered subs because of the need to phase out fossil fuels.
Giving into those such groups that are living in fantasy land it is impossible to win whatever the decision made across the board.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Kalsel3294
December 3, 2021 9:01 pm

it is impossible to win whatever the decision made across the board.

Irrational people with poor educations aren’t likely to make useful decisions on matters beyond their understanding.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Rory Forbes
December 4, 2021 2:43 am

That’s the essence of the problem: politics seem to attract especially irrational people with poor, or failed education. If you don’t have capabilities or credentials to work in the private sector, you go into politics… well paid, lots of free time between sessions, etc…

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Kalsel3294
December 3, 2021 11:31 pm

 “progressive activists and bureaucrats who are out of touch with the realities of life and slowly strangling society with unrealistic demands.”

No, they are not out of touch with the realities of life, they seek nothing more than manipulation & control of our lives, because they no what is best for us all, in their limited brain capacities!!! They are deeply & worryingly misguided, & history has demonstrated that throughout, the bloodshed has been horrific as a result!!! They fear change of any kind, because they cannot control it, whether that change is manmade or natural, & of course the natural kind is what they fear most!!!

Ron Long
Reply to  Kalsel3294
December 4, 2021 2:11 am

The main reason the Australian Navy finally changed to nuclear subs is that they anticipate some military interaction with China over sovereignty of South China Sea issues, and a diesel sub would need to snorkle repeatedly to get there, risking detection, whereas a nuclear sub can go around the world submerged.

Reply to  Ron Long
December 4, 2021 6:43 am

The decision was never based on operational requirements, it has been green politics and jobs all the way.
There are other nations for whom sovereignty of the South China Sea is far more relevant than that for Australia.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Kalsel3294
December 4, 2021 3:15 am

even Bill Maher now detests the politically correct: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrOCUVJnyZE

December 3, 2021 7:19 pm

People have had it with the virtue signaling prompted by shaming to join the anti CO2 crowd. Now that most have figured out “Climate Change” is not a passing fancy they are taking a more critical look at what it really represents. Reality always wins.

Doug D
December 3, 2021 7:34 pm

No country can afford to go green . The technology just is not mature enough to use in anyway but as a side bar to gas and coal. And likely will not be in the next 20 years ..Those that think otherwise are smoking something in their pipes. Utopian dreams do not hold up well to stretches of zero degrees or summers in the hundreds . Those politicians how push this to far will find themself in the private sector in a quick minute .

Joel O’Bryan
December 3, 2021 8:26 pm

I’m buying a 2022 Chevy Suburban with a big V8 exactly because oil is going to be THE transportation fuel for as long as I live. That’s reality. At least in Texas. Y’all can come here too if you want future for you and your children.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 3, 2021 8:40 pm

I’ll drink to that !

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  gringojay
December 3, 2021 8:53 pm

I’ve yet to see a Tesla here in central Texas. My other home in Tucson AZ they are seen regularly. Here, regular gas (87 octane) is 2.99/gal or so, here at the moment. even if gas was +$4/gal no one would drive less or give up their pu truck. Texas frackers are holding back a bit to make Brandon squirm and reap the eventual profit.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
December 3, 2021 10:58 pm

There are some virtue signaling university professors buying them in Central Texas, but few people outside of Texas college towns are buying EV cars.

Dave Fair
December 3, 2021 10:50 pm

The Japanese are damned lucky that the world economies shrunk in 2020 in response to the ChiCom virus. The “Dirty Mix” consumption chart shows they would have been in deep shit in 2020 because they shut down their nukes. They are wisely now working to put them back online.

December 4, 2021 12:43 am

but not coal… Japan has halted new coal power plants…

Japan’s Coal Pipeline Is Bare After Last Planned Project Axed – Bloomberg

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
December 4, 2021 2:31 am

It’s the economy, stupid!

Just wait and see!…

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  griff
December 4, 2021 3:21 am
Reply to  griff
December 4, 2021 4:19 am

What difference does it make if China and India are building them like there’s no tomorrow?

Reply to  griff
December 4, 2021 7:23 am

Whistling past the graveyard.

Reply to  griff
December 5, 2021 5:15 am

Japan will still be burning coal way past 2030 likely still in 2050
They can still build more coal power stations they just have to “meet the definition” … they pulled a Stokesy at COP26.

Last edited 1 year ago by LdB
Joseph Zorzin
December 4, 2021 3:23 am

Japan is a small country with a huge energy need – mostly mountains and 68% of the land area is forest. They aren’t going to cover their mountains and destroy those forests to install wind/solar energy.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 4, 2021 8:29 am

Maybe too they recognize that to build up solar/wind will serve to further enrich their arch-rival China

What shocks me is after abandoning nuclear they reduced electric power consumption by almost 25%. That can’t all be from replacing lighting and computers and HVAC. There’s an interesting story in there I’d like to hear about.

Robert Leslie Stevenson
December 4, 2021 5:51 am

COP 26 in Glasgow proved to be a disaster for the UK. It has led to oil giant Shell pulling of important (for UK not so much Shell) North sea oil and gas field developments. Also Boris Johnson is proving the same for the Tories as he seeks approval from the Green crusty activist and the northern red wall voters, at the same time abandoning his core support. Not so Japan it would seem. Thanks to their geographic remoteness from COP 26 they can treat it as another routine IPCC gathering of like minded crisis climate change artists

Peter Fraser
December 4, 2021 11:23 am

The ever practical Japanese using what works. They have brought their last surge of the Wuflu under control by using ivermectin.

Bruce Cobb
December 4, 2021 11:39 am

How dare they.

Kevin Stall
December 4, 2021 11:42 am

Japan not going to pretend that all this is going to solve any climate problem. Even the blades on the wind machines require oil. And shutting down makes no sense. Biden publicity stunt of executive orders only harm alternative energy. Not help his EV program which most of us will avoid at all costs. Electricity is set to go sky high. He really wants private ownership of vehicles to go away.

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