How ambitious is the GHG reduction target of Japan?

Posted by Kenji Yamaji August 7, 2015 Director-General, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE)

The government of Japan officially communicated its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) on 17 July, 2015. Japan’s INDC states a level of GHG (greenhouse gas) reduction of 26.0% by fiscal year (FY) 2030 compared to FY 2013 (25.4% reduction compared to FY 2005). Japan’s GHG reduction target is set as the sum of domestic emission reductions and removals and the level of GHG emissions in FY 2030 will be 1.042 billion t-CO2 eq. The Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) is not included as a basis of the bottom-up calculation of Japan’s emission reduction target, but the amount of emission reductions and removals acquired by Japan under the JCM will be appropriately counted as Japan’s reduction. Through the diffusion of leading technologies by Japanese industries’ actions other than the JCM, the worldwide emission reduction potential in FY 2030 is estimated to exceed 1 billion t-CO2. Japan will also actively contribute internationally towards human resource development and the promotion of development and diffusion of technologies related to emission reductions in developing countries.

Approximately 90% of Japan’s GHG emissions are energy-related CO2. The reduction target for the energy-related CO2 is based on the FY 2030 energy mix projected in the “Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook”. The Outlook was officially determined the day before the submission of the INDC, namely, on 16 July, 2015.

The author has been involved in the governmental process to determine Japan’s INDC as a co-chair of the Joint Experts’ Meeting of the Central Environment Council and the Industrial Structure Council, and as a member of the Subcommittee on Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook.

In this article, the author presents his personal views on the fairness and ambition of Japan’s INDC while focusing on the energy-related CO2 emissions. The analysis of Japan’s INDC introduced in this article is based on the research results done by Systems Analysis Group of RITE...