Energy / Climate Change

November 1, 2009


Japan's Environment Ministry Releases Visions for 80% GHG Emissions Reduction

Keywords: Climate Change Government 

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment released on August 14, 2009, two versions of visions for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050 while maintaining the current standard of living. These visions were developed in response to the declaration made by the G-8 leaders at the L'Aquila Summit held in July 2009, which included reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050.

The Vision A, or "economic development and technology-oriented vision," assumes that Japan's per capita GDP will grow at two percent per year and technology development will accelerate. The Vision B, or "decentralized economy and nature-oriented vision," assumes a one-percent annual increase in per capita GDP and development of a decentralized economy driven by population dispersion to rural areas. Each vision presents necessary measures to achieve the 80 percent GHG reductions.

Both visions call for a significantly increased share of renewable energy in the nation's primary energy supply (Vision A=28 percent; B=40 percent) as well as a capacity increase by 120 (Vision A) to 140 times (Vision B) the 2005 levels for solar power generation. The visions also list requirements such as adoption and wider use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at thermal power plants (all thermal power plants in vision A), a complete transition to hybrid and electric vehicles, the conversion of all buildings to super insulated houses or energy-efficient buildings, and the installation of water heaters that use heat pumps or solar technology in the majority of houses in Japan.

In terms of government policies, the visions deem it necessary to fully implement an emissions trading system and review the tax system to introduce a carbon tax.

Japan's Ministry of the Environment official website

Posted: 2009/11/01 06:00:15 AM