November 30, 2018
Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (JCLP), a coalition of more than 90 companies working together to achieve a zero-carbon economy in Japan, has published a recommendation for Japan’s Long-Term Growth Strategy Under the Paris Agreement, calling for government to articulate the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
The long-term growth strategy plays a role of particular importance in building a shared vision of a zero-carbon society among all actors in Japan and enabling long-term decision making by these actors.
To this end, the strategy must offer a clear signal of the sustained commitment to the goal of decarbonization and chart pathways toward the goal. From this perspective, JCLP makes the following recommendations:
- Ensure that all citizens are clearly aware of the threat posed by climate change
The realization of a zero-carbon society is a national endeavor that requires the alignment of all actors toward the shared goal. It is essential that the entire society understands and agrees with the reasons why a zero-carbon society must be achieved.
- Set a vision to "become a global leader in the decarbonized economy"
The long-term strategy needs to clearly set a vision for Japan to become a global leader in the decarbonized economy. By achieving a zero-carbon society and developing high-quality decarbonized products and services as a forerunner, Japan can reap the most economic benefits and be a positive driving force in the global pathway of decarbonization at the same time.
- Articulate the goal of zero domestic GHG emissions by 2050
It is essential to commit to a clear national goal of zero emissions by 2050. Articulating the scale and time frame of emissions reduction required to avoid serious damage from climate change will enable all actors to align their actions.
- As a path to net zero emissions, commit to introducing carbon pricing as well as developing infrastructure through public investment that together prompts the expansion of Japan’s decarbonized market
To allow for the development and extensive adoption of decarbonized products and services required for a zero-carbon society, a positive feedback loop needs to be generated in the economy.
This feedback loop is a process where innovation and cost reduction brought about by companies’ investment of their resources trigger market expansion, leading to further innovation. One prerequisite for this positive feedback loop is the creation of a market for decarbonized products and services to induce companies’ investment of their resources.
Carbon pricing, which ensures that the competitiveness of products and services with zero (or low) carbon footprints, is an essential and effective tool for this market creation. In addition, we need public investment for the infrastructure necessary to increase the uptake of decarbonized products and services.
- Create frameworks and mechanisms to manage the transition
Our society needs to have frameworks and mechanisms that will enable a smooth and steady overall transition to a zero-carbon society. More specifically, we must use Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) mechanisms based on scientific knowledge and provide assistance measures as well as grace periods to sectors that have a greater difficulty in decarbonizing their businesses.
Japan Climate Leaders Partnership (JCLP) is a coalition of more than 90 Japanese companies that aims to create a zero-carbon society, seizing on the idea that sustainable low-carbon development is a prerequisite for economic activity. It was set up in 2009 to urge the business sector in Japan to develop a sense of urgency on climate actions and to initiate a more proactive response. Recognizing the key challenge climate change poses to society its members are committed to bold action and to integrate decarbonization measures into their core business models. JCLP remains unique in Japan in that a key focus is policy engagement around actions for decarbonization, aimed at both local and central governments in the country.