Japan’s Emissions Reports are Strong, but Effort Should be Made to Make them More Timely

Rating B

Japan reports an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions annually as a public document. The document is available on the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) webpage. Japan does its inventory reporting.

The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) publishes, and the Ministry of the Environment reviews the report. Staff from the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Office of Japan (GIO), Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER), Earth System Division (ESD), and National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) are the primary authors.

Key personnel are: Elsa HATANAKA, Takefumi ODA, Hiroshi ITO, Naofumi KOSAKA, Atsuko HAYASHI, Eriko HIRATA, Wakana TAKI

Most recently, on the 21st of April 2023, the National Institute for Environmental Studies released the “National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report of JAPAN (2023)”.

The report is Japan’s fiscal year (April – March) basis. The latest data is for the fiscal year 2021 (April 2021 – March 2022). This means the following release timing is April 2024 for fiscal year 2022 (April 2022 – March 2023). In April 2025, the figures for fiscal year 2023 (April 2023 – March 2024) should be available.

The total GHG emissions in FY2021—excluding LULUCF and including indirect CO2—was 1,170 million tonnes (in CO2 equivalent). In comparison to the em

Emissions in FY2020 increased by 2% (NIES, 2023). Please see the following charts:

Trends in GHG Emissions and Removals

Source: National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), (2023)

The breakdown shows that 86.8% of the total emissions of greenhouse gases are related to energy. Following it are the sectors of the industrial processes and product use sector (excluding indirect CO2) (8.8%), agriculture (2.8%), waste (1.5%), and indirect CO2 emissions (0.2%). The LULUCF’s removals were equivalent to 4.5% of all GHG emissions. (NIES, 2023).

Trends in GHG Emissions and Removals by Sector

Source: National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), (2023)

The energy sector is of the utmost importance for Japan in terms of lowering GHG emissions.  Since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in 2011, as discussed in Post 63, Japan has minimized its nuclear power operations and filled the gap with natural gas and oil-fired power generation. Since then, Japan has increased its use of renewable energy sources to generate more electricity, but in 2021, just 13% of its electricity will come from these sources. Japan must actively confront the high-cost structure of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power generation, and develop its unique strategy.

Rating: B

Japan’s GHG inventory is regularly reported in April of each year. However, with the current reporting cycle, for April, the beginning of the fiscal year, it will be reported two years later. The following report will be in April 2024, covering the period from April 2022 to March 2023 (financial year 2022). Efforts should be made to accelerate the timing of reporting from April each year to at least October of the previous year (e.g., for financial year 2023, reporting should be done in October 2024) or to make the reporting unit a calendar year and report for calendar year 2023 during 2024.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Japan Country Manager Takeda Kazuya 



Learn More References

National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), (2023). National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report of JAPAN 2023. https://www.nies.go.jp/gio/en/aboutghg/index.html.





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