6.2.1 Movement Toward a Low Carbon Society in Japan and Overseas
In 2008, the G8 summit in Toyako, Hokkaido settled on an agreement to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and the following G8 Summit held in Italy in 2009 and a Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) summit meeting brought the G8 members to agreement on a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 80 % by 2050, by all developed countries.
In Japan, a new vision, “Towards a Low-Carbon Society Japanese Society,” was released by former Prime Minister Fukuda in 2008. In his vision, a long-term goal of reducing carbon emissions by 60-80 % by 2050 was set, with other components such as the establishment of new business in the new energy sector, use of traditional Japanese wisdom, and implementing actions including technology innovations (NIES et al. 2008). In addition, an Action Plan for Achieving a Low-Carbon Society was launched by Japan’s Cabinet following the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit.
In 2009, the former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced a mid-term target that Japan should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 % from 1990 levels by 2020. He included forest sinks, carbon credits from other countries, a domestic emission trading system, and green taxation as practical methods. He also emphasized the role of local authorities and other organizations in the creation of a low carbon society (Takemoto 2011).
Table 6.1 Japanese scenarios toward a low-carbon society (Source: NIES et al. 2008) Scenario A Scenario B