Climate change in Japan

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Climate change in Japan is being addressed at a governmental level.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proposes two hypothetical future scenarios. One is Scenario "A1B" based on the assumption that a future world will have more global economic growth (the concentration of carbon dioxide will be 720 ppm in 2100). The other is Scenario "B1" based on the assumption that a future world will have global green economy (the concentration of carbon dioxide will be 550 ppm in 2100).

Currently, Japan is a world leader in the development of new climate-friendly technologies.[1] Honda and Toyota hybrid electric vehicles were named to have the highest fuel efficiency and lowest emissions.[2] The fuel economy and emissions decrease is due to the advanced technology in hybrid systems, biofuels, use of lighter weight material and better engineering.

As a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, and host of the 1997 conference which created it, Japan is under treaty obligations to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and to take other steps related to curbing climate change. The Cool Biz campaign introduced under former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was targeted at reducing energy use through the reduction of air conditioning use in government offices.[citation needed]

Projected effects of climate change in Japan[edit]

Earth Simulator calculations reveal the daily increase in mean temperature in Japan during the period 2071 to 2100. The temperature will increased by 3.0 °C in Scenario B1 and 4.2 °C in A1B compared to that of 1971 to 2000. Similarly, the daily maximum temperature in Japan will increase by 3.1 °C in B1 and 4.4 °C in A1B. The precipitation in summer in Japan will increase steadily due to global warming (annual average precipitation will increase by 17% in Scenario B1 and by 19% in Scenario A1B during the period 2071–2100 compared to that of 1971–2000).[3]

National efforts[edit]

As a member in the Paris Agreement, Japan was the first nation to release a new national climate plan by 2020 as required in the 2015 agreement. However, this new plan included no major changes from the 2013 national climate plan, which aimed to reduce emissions by 26% from 2013 rates. This lack of aggressive action as the fourth-largest polluter in the world led the World Resources Institute to describe the plan as "put[ting] the world on a more dangerous trajectory." Similarly, the head of the World Wildlife Fund Japan climate and energy group, Naoyuki Yamagishi, described the plan as "completely the wrong signal."[4]

In 2018, Japan established its Strategic Energy Plan, with goals set for 2030. The plan aimed to reduce coal use from 32 to 26 percent, to increase renewables from 17 to 22-24 percent, and to increase nuclear from 6 to 20-22 percent of the energy production mix. As part of this goal, Japan announced a goal of shutting down 100 old, low-efficiency coal-fired plants out of its 140 coal fired power plants. As of 2020, 114 of Japan's 140 coal-fired plants are deemed old and inefficient. Twenty-six are considered high-efficiency, and 16 new high-efficiency plants are currently under construction.[5]

Japan created the Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan to lay out the necessary measures required to meet their 6% reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. It was first established as an outcome of the evaluation of the Climate Change Policy Program carried out in 2004. The main branches of the plan are ensuring the pursuit of environment and economy, promoting of technology, raising public awareness, utilizing of policy measures, and ensuring international collaboration.[6]


Japan's capital Tokyo is preparing to force industry to make big cuts in greenhouse gases, taking the lead in a country struggling to meet its Kyoto Protocol obligations. Tokyo's outspoken governor, Shintaro Ishihara, decided to go it alone and create Japan's first emissions cap system, reducing greenhouse gas emission by a total of 25% by 2020 from the 2000 level.[7]

On June 25, 2008, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly approved a program for the reduction of CO
emissions starting in 2010. About 1,300 large offices and factories in Tokyo that consume electric power equivalent to 1,500 kilolitres of crude oil annually must reduce CO
emissions by 15–20% of the average volume from the three years before this bylaw. Even with emissions trading or cap-and-trade, if the targeted reduction not is achieved by 2020, a penalty of up to JPY500,000 will be charged. This penalty chargeable regulation is the first in Japan.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EU JAPAN relations in the field of environment". European Commission. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
  2. ^ Automaker Rankings 2007: The Environmental Performance of Car Companies, Union of Concerned Scientists, 15 October 2007.
  3. ^ The latest global warming projection by using the Earth Simulator has been completed Archived 2009-02-26 at the Wayback Machine, Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo
  4. ^ Sengupta, Somini (1 April 2020). "Japan's climate plan sends 'wrong signal'". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Japan aims to shut down 100 inefficient coal plants within decade". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 3 July 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  6. ^ “Gist of the Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan.” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and then they beat each other up
  7. ^ World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Archived January 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine