Spotlight Activity: Japan Policy Recommendations
We propose that the Japanese government revise its INDC to a reduction of greenhouse gas emission by 40% from the 1990 level (765 MTCO2) by 2030. The government’s current goal is a 26% reduction from the 2013 level (17 percent reduction from the 1990 level), but this seems inconsistent with the cabinet decision to achieve an 80 percent reduction by 2050.
According to a scenario presented by Japan’s Union of Concerned Scientists on Energy Mix and Climate Target, 40 percent reduction by 2030 is achievable by combining the efforts to reduce energy consumption and to increase renewables.
Therefore, based on its report, we propose the government:
- Reduce energy consumption by 30 percent through the promotion of electrification of transportation and steel production.
As both the automotive and steel industries are fundamental in the Japanese economy, political support for the transition to electric vehicles (EV) and electric arc furnaces (EAF) is essential for conducting such substantial restructuring of the sectors without losing their competitiveness.
- Stop planning, constructing and exporting coal power plants anymore.
Promoting coal energy is nonsensical given that Japan does not produce coal domestically. If the government is truly concerned about its energy security, as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry always says, it makes sense to stop depending on imported coal. Even without introducing carbon pricing, the government should have a sufficient budget for expanding renewable energy capacity if it from coal.
Activity Rating: *** Moving Forward
The proposed policies make sense, but their implementation is contingent on a variety of critical factors. Despite the financial and technological capacities to implement the suggested policies, the government and strong interest groups behind Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry such as Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) are obsessed with protecting the coal and nuclear industries. As a result, the long-term strategy for the implementation of the Paris Agreement recently announced by the government is far less ambitious than what Japan can technically implement.
Please send the following message to the policymaker(s) below.
Dear Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko,
We recommend that your Ministry update the greenhouse gas emissions pledge of Japan to the Paris Agreement before November 2020. Your updated pledge should be aimed at reaching a target of 765 MTCO2. We recommend that you implement the following policies in order to reach this target: Promotion of electrification, Ban on coal plants, and Expansion of renewable sources.
Send Action Alert Message to:
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Hiroshige Seko
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Secretariat of the Agency for
Natural Resources and Energy Director General Affairs Division
Strategic Planning Division
Person in charge: Akamatsu, Tomizawa, Ozawa
Phone: 03-3501-1511 (extension 4471)