Despite moving up six places to 45th in this year’s CCPI, Japan remains among the low performing countries.
Japan receives a low to medium performance rating in all CCPI categories, with only some positive changes in lowered current levels of energy use and GHG emissions per capita. In October 2020, Prime Minister Suga announced Japan’s plans to decarbonise by 2050, stepping up its communicated long-term mitigation plan to reduce emissions by 80%.
Though Japan’s emissions have decreased in the last 5 years, experts have expressed concerns about the overly slow pace of reductions for meeting existing 2030 targets, which themselves are incompatible with a well-below-2°C pathway. This resonates in our experts’ criticism of the country’s current state of national policy and the urgent need to raise the current 2030 target of 26% to 50% GHG reductions from 2013 levels. That is in addition to defining a concrete plan for realising the decarbonisation pledge. Renewables still face high regulatory and market barriers in Japan, with policy promotions for coal and nuclear, as well as unfavourable market design. Experts, however, point towards recent developments with potential for policy reform, such as the ongoing review of energy and climate policy. Japan has also attempted to revive its image on the international climate policy front this year, with Minister of the Environment Shinjiro Koizumi hosting a virtual ministerial meeting to create momentum for stocktaking nations’ climate actions. Despite these movements, Japan’s general diplomatic approach has been to delay or block climate cooperation, earning it a low rating.
The following national expert agreed to be mentioned as contributor for this year’s CCPI: Kimiko Hirata (Kiko Network).