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January 3, 2007


Indicators - Nature / Climate Change

N-2. GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Emissions per capita (per year)

1.Current Values
10.5 tons / person-year (FY 2003)

2.Current Points
(out of a perfect score of 100 by 2050) 0 points
Calculation method:
(Current value – minimum value) / (2050 target value – minimum value) x 100

3. Explanation of Indicator
In a sustainable society, the effects of global warming and climate changes are kept at a minimum. Japan’s current carbon dioxide emissions are approximately 1.3 billion tons, or about 5% of the world’s total (Japan’s population is roughly 2% of the world total). That is approximately 9.9 tons per person, which is less than the United States (approx. 20 tons) emissions, but a much higher level than China (approx. 2 tons per person) or India (approx. 1 ton).

To hold overall emissions to within the limits of what the ecosystem can absorb, it is essential that there be a large-scale reduction in per-capita emissions volume. Because there are other gasses in addition to carbon dioxide emissions, such as methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), that cause a greenhouse effect, we have chosen as an indicator the per capita emissions of GHG (per year), including some of these other greenhouse gasses.

4.Target for 2050
2.0 tons / person year

5.Ideal for the Future
2.0 tons / person year

6. Rationale for Ideal and Target Values
Calculations by research teams from Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (published in March 2005) have shown that in order to check the increase in air temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius and stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gasses at 1.3 times the current level, the total emissions worldwide in 2050 must be less than half of the 1990 levels. When pro rated in proportion to the total population, Japan must reduce its emissions by about 80% (980 million tons) to about 2.0 tons per capita.

7. Source
Calculations based on Japanese Ministry of the Environment “Japan’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions”(Japanese only)
Related information:
“Report of Discussions on International Climate Change Strategy”, Ministry of the Environment

8. Notes
GHG emissions divided by annual population. 1990 used as the Kyoto Protocol baseline year. However, 1995 is used for HFCs, PFCs, and SF6 values. EU is looking at a maximum 80% reduction of 1990 levels for 2050.


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