＜From “Kiko Network News” Vol.35, May 2004＞
The government has begun in earnest the evaluation and review on the Guideline of Measures to Prevent Global Warming. After this year’s evaluation and review, how “the second step” of the measures should be carried out from 2005? The future direction of Japan’s measures against climate change is discussed here based on the GHGs emission trend.
Q: Which sector emits GHGs the most?
A: According to emission sectors, emission related to the private and public sectors accounts for around 80% of total CO2 emission, and emission related to the households accounts for around 20%. The private and public sectors include energy consumption by private companies for use of cars, offices and commercial facilities as well as by manufacturers. This fact reveals that the private and public sectors have to take solid measures to reduce emission. Individuals’ efforts are of course important, but in the next step, it is necessary to introduce policies to encourage private companies’ efforts so that the measures are steadily carried out.
To be more precise, the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment, which is now on the basis of voluntarism, needs to be reviewed to fully enforce the private companies to keep track of and publicize their emission. In particular, regarding CO2 emission per electric power consumption, target should be strengthen and the value should be reviewed to that of 1990, instead of relying on increase of nuclear power generation plants which is not relevant to individual companies’ efforts.Furthermore, it is vital that economic instruments such as carbon tax and emission regulation should be developed in order to further promote the efforts of private companies.
Q: In which sector the emission is increasing?
A: Among emissions related to the private and public sectors, emissions are being reduced in the industry sector including manufacturers due to the drop of production. However, energy consumption by company car and freight car used for sales activities and in office building is drastically increasing. As regards emission related to the household, emission from car is increasing. Since greater dependence on car is expected, it is necessary to introduce extremely strong measures to promote the use of public transportation. Emission from household is still increasing, though it tends to decelerate. It is necessary to obligate understandable labeling and introduce economic measures so that use of energy-efficient household appliances is promoted.
Q: Can sectors reducing emission rest assured?
A: CO2 emission from industry sector and fluorinated gases emission are now being reduced. However, it does not necessarily mean that they do not need further measures. The industry sector is the largest emitter of the GHGs. The reduction cannot be ensured as long as it is subject to the trends in the economic climate. Therefore stronger systems are required to promote further measures to achieve drastic reduction in the future.
As regards F-gases, it is highly probable that refrigerant used for refrigerator and air conditioner will be emitted on a massive scale at their disposal if no additional measure is taken. While preventing it at the current stage, policies to get rid of F-gases have to be taken.
Given the facts stated above, the following approaches are required for the evaluation and review on the Guideline of Measures to Prevent Global Warming:
1) Introduction of effective policies and measures that focus on emission related to the private and public sectors, the largest emitter.
2) Stronger measures to restrict commercial use of vehicles for the transportation sector in the private and public sectors, in which emission is on the increase.
3) Regulations or economic instruments to restrict energy consumption for the commercial sector in the private and public sectors, in which emission is on the increase.
4) Stronger measures to further accelerate the emission reduction for preventing future increase for the industry section and F-gases, in which emission are decreasing.
5) Guiding economic instruments and policies to provide necessary information by eco-labeling for the household section, in which emission is on the increase.
Kiko Network has conducted the project to review the Guideline and is currently preparing the proposals for detailed and realistic policies and measures.
If you are interested, please contact us at Tokyo office of Kiko Network.