Climate Change Research Program Japanese

Core Project4. Developing Visions for a Low Carbon Society and Integrated Analysis of Climate Policies

Research Plan > Core Research Projects > 2008 Research Results

[2008 Research Results]

Many organizations are engaged in activities to work towards the future stabilization of our climate. Discussions are taking place around the world on international approaches to climate change mitigation, methods to reach long-term climate stabilization targets and ways to achieve a low-carbon society by 2050. The objective of our research is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of such climate mitigation strategies, and to feed the results of our research back into the policy making community and the general public.

Key areas to be addressed to achieve a sustainable low-carbon society

What kind of techniques, processes and social reforms are necessary to achieve Low-Carbon Societies (LCSs) in Japan by 2050? And what measures are available to support such efforts and actions?
The report “Dozen Actions towards Low-carbon Societies” is a research output in which visions for the year 2050, existing obstacles and future strategies are described (Figure). For example, to implement Action 1 “Comfortable and Green Built Environment” it is necessary to have architects, designers, construction companies and craftsmen, who will be able to build environmentally efficient yet comfortable buildings, as well as consumers who will actually buy them.
If the government implements a labeling system to “encourage smart and rational choices” based on the assessment scheme of efficient residential energy use, and if it offers suitable guidance to designers and constructors, along with an incentive allowance to consumers of energy-efficient buildings, it will be possible to lead all participating agents in the right direction. Making everybody actively take part in the efforts of this “Dozen Actions towards Low-carbon Societies” is the key to the successful implementation of a sustainable low-carbon society.

Dozen Actions towards Low-carbon Societies

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Post-2012 international framework for climate change mitigation

The Kyoto Protocol set mandatory greenhouse gas emission targets for the period 2008-2012. At the Bali meeting (COP13) in 2007, it was agreed that the post-2012 international climate change regime should be decided by the end of 2009. At present, various international collaborative efforts are in progress, and the key to their success is an adequate sharing of responsibilities among organizations.

Diversification of the negotiation process

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Quantitative evaluation of mitigation policies

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions targets were estimated to achieve a 25% reduction in Annex I countries in 2020 compared with the level of GHG emissions in 1990. Under the criteria of equal marginal abatement costs across Annex I countries, which will become US$166/tCO2, emissions reduction targets in Japan, US, EU25 and Russia will become 5%, 24%, 27%, and 32% respectively, compared with the level in 1990. On the other hand, under the criteria of equal total mitigation costs per GDP across Annex I countries, which will become around 1 % of GDP, emissions in Japan, US, EU25, and Russia will decrease by 17%, 18%, 31%, and 31% respectively, compared with the level in 1990. Thus, the allocation of emissions reduction targets in Annex I countries vary depending on different settings of criteria, even with the same 25% emissions target in Annex I countries.

Estimated GHG emissions in 2020 compared with 1990 (%)

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Estimated GHG emissions in 2020 compared with 1990 (%)
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