Japan Emissions Reduction Policy

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Japan: The Tokyo Cap and Trade System

Tokyo, the capital of Japan and one of the world’s largest cities, emits a total 59.6 million tons of greenhouse gas per year. Tokyo’s Cap-and-Trade has been implemented since April in 2010 as Japan’s first cap-and-trade emissions trading program. The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly approved the bill that introduced mandatory targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction based on Tokyo Climate Change Strategy in June 2007.  The program was modeled after the Emission Trading System (ETS) of the European Union (EU) and was put in place in April 2010. What should be noted is that Tokyo Cap-and Trade was the first cap-and-trade program to be implemented not only for Japan but also for Asia as a whole. According to a flash report published by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2015, Tokyo Cap-and-Trade has achieved a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to base-year emissions, which is the largest reduction rate in the past 5 years. Tokyo Cap-and-Trade requires 8% greenhouse gas emission reductions in business facilities such as office buildings, and 6% emission reductions in industrial facilities such as factories during a five-year compliance period (2010-2014). Also, it requires owners of these facilities to submit a report of the precious year’s emission. The best news is that over 90% of targeted facilities have achieved their reduction targets. Tokyo Cap-and-Trade was highlighted as an exemplary program by UNFCCC in 2014, which indicates that the program is receiving attention all around the world. Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly recently set a new reduction target (cap), “30% reduction from the 2000 level by 2030”.

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