Spotlight Activity: Japan’s Nationally Determined Contribution
Japan’s INDC pledge proposed reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26.0% by fiscal year (FY) 2030 compared to FY 2013 (25.4 % reduction compared to FY 2005) (approximately 1.042 billion t-CO2eq. as 2030 emissions)
Japan’s said it would meet its target by reducing emissions in the following
(a) Energy -Fuel Combustion (Energy industries, Manufacturing industries and Construction,)Transport, Commercial/Institutional, Residential, Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing, and Other).
(b) Industrial processes and product use
(d) Land use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)
The government had promised to develop a Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures in 2016. The government also said its pledge is subject to change depending on the progress of future international negotiations in estimating and accounting rules.
Status: Falling Behind
Commitments with this rating fall outside the fair share range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2 ℃ let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5 ℃ limit. If all government targets were in this range, warming would reach between 3 ℃ and 4 ℃.
We suggest that Japan strengthen its NDC pledge by taking the following
1. Overcoming the challenges of system constraints for the introduction of renewable energy
After the start of the FIT system in July 2012, the capacity of renewable energy power supply has expanded to about 2.7 times, but the proportion of those already in operation is only about 33.7%. In the existing power system, the capacity of the transmission line cannot catch up with the expansion of introduction of renewable energy, and its connection is restricted. In calculating the connectable amount of wind power generation / photovoltaic power generation, these combined outputs are evaluated by the maximum output by month and time zone, based on the power generation results of the previous year. In order to make effective use of existing lines and to introduce renewable energy to the full extent, we should steadily implement “connect & manage” in Japan. Currently, connections are allowed on a first-come-first-served basis within the free capacity of the transmission line. They should be allowed as widely as possible under certain conditions such as suppression of power output during system congestion.
2. Promotion of renewable energy in harmony with the regions
It is important that renewable energy be introduced in harmony with regional governments and businesses taking account of the long-term impact. As the revised FIT Law came into effect in April 2017, the establishment of a system to prevent and solve troubles in the regions began. For example, along with the increase in mega solar, in some areas troubles with residents and administration became obvious, in terms of landscape, disaster prevention, living environment, nature conservation, lack of administrative procedures, lack of consensus building process with residents, and inadequate development of the system. In response to such troubles, institutional measures were taken, such as setting up suppression areas for mega solar. Also, by introducing a bidding system for photovoltaic power generation of 2 MW or more, cost-effective introduction will be carried out. However, with the 1st bidding, region-based power utilities have not even submitted proposals. In the current bidding system, a small number of businesses with large capital bid nearly all and community-based businesses are shut out due to lack of development investment strength. In the bidding system, it is necessary to revise a system that allows regional operators to participate in bidding.
3. Canceling the plan to establish a coal-fired power plant
Coal-fired power generation has the greatest carbon dioxide emission coefficient among thermal power plants. Nevertheless, according to Kiko Network (NGO), as of October 5, 2017, the number of coal-fired power plants for which the new construction plan is known reaches 42 (total output 205,110,000 kW). This has been condemned by the international community as going against the trend of greenhouse gas emission reduction. If the construction and operation of a coal-fired power plant whose operation period is set to 30 or 40 years progresses, it will be more difficult for future generations to achieve long-term emission reduction targets. By stopping the new construction of coal-fired power plants and promoting investment in renewable energy, Japan will realize an energy supply structure consistent with long-term Paris Agreement goals.
Please send the following message to Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko:
Dear Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko,
It is important that Japan strengthen the pledge our country has made to the Paris Agreement before the Agreement goes into effect. For example, in our country’s global warming countermeasure plan the government set a long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, while deciding to cut 26.0% as a medium-term goal by 2030 compared to 2013. This medium-term target is a goal that was formulated in a build-up manner on the premise of existing industrial structure and social system. In order to achieve long-term goal with this as a milestone, significant reduction will be required after FY 2030, which will burden future generations. From the viewpoint of intergenerational equity, we ask the government to increase medium-term targets to set a vision aiming for long-term goals.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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the Agency for Natural Resources and Enegy
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