Japan confirms 2050 decarbonisation objective

June 4, 2021

Japan’s upper chamber has passed a bill amending its ‘Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures‘, cementing efforts to achieve decarbonisation by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement and the 2050 Carbon Neutral Declaration.

The amended bill will see the establishment of guidelines to achieve the international environmental goals, including the promotion of measures intended to curb carbon emissions and improve carbon data and emissions declarations.

The amendment targets the wider business landscape, local governments, and the public.

In part, responsibility will fall to municipalities to promote environmental considerations, as well as projects with a focus on decarbonisation while utilising local renewable energy.

To facilitate this, the Japanese government will promote the use of open and accessible data on carbon emissions to improve clarity and the completeness of reports.

The proposal also indicates stronger emissions disclosure requirements for companies, according to a translation of the document from Japanese.

This will also extend to smaller companies, according to the statement, as the number of firms engaged in “decarbonisation management” increases, forcing smaller, local companies in the supply chain to also contribute their carbon emissions data.

Many local governments have already set environmental goals, with a large number prefectures pre-emptively declaring themselves “zero carbon cities”, aiming for 2050 carbon neutrality.

So far, 396 local governments – including Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kyoto – have announced their commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.

These regions represent 87% of Japan’s population, over 110 million people.

Internationally, Japan and the EU are to form a “Green Alliance” to support decarbonisation efforts between the two economies, following a summit in May. The framework will cover climate change, trade, sustainable finance and energy.

Last Updated: 4 June 2021