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Feasibility study for 70% CO2 reduction in Japan

As the first article of our blog, I am happy to introduce a recently released report by "2050 Japan Low-Carbon Society" project team. I was encouraged by the outcomes of the study, and I would like to recommend to anyone who is involved in climate change policy, business, or anyone who wants to draw a brighter picture for the future of our children's generation (which is only 20-30 years away from now!).

The title of the report is "Japan Scenarios towards Low-Carbon Society by 2050-Feasibility study for 70% CO2 emission reduction below 1990 leve-". In this report, the team had concluded that Japan has the technological potential to reduce its CO2 emissions by 70% compared to the 1990 level, while satisfying the expected demand for energy services in 2050.

Key conclusions of the report suggest that 70% reduction of CO2 emission can be achieved by 40-45% energy demand reduction and introduction of low-carbon energy supply, with the direct cost of JPY 6.7 - 9.8 trillion, which account for around 1 % of the estimated GDP in 2050.

The team had applied a back-casting approach to examine the strategies for achieving the Low-carbon Society. Some key steps include, 1) qualitative characterization of scenarios with a certain socioeconomic changes through brainstorming by experts, 2) quantitavive estimation of energy-service demand based on the quantified behavior of people and households, design of city and transportation, and industrial structure, 3)calculation of energy services demand and CO2 emission reduction target to explore the appropriate combination of demand and end-use technology, types of energy supply and energy supply technologies, 4) quantify the energy demands and the amount of resulting CO2 emissions.

In order to achieve the Low-Carbon Society goals, the team had called upon prompt actions to be taken at the earliest stage of the roadmap. I hope the report would have a great impact on policy makers and business leaders for accelerating domestic CO2 reductions in Japan.

For more information, please visit the Japan Low Carbon Society Scenarios toward 2050 official site.

→Tentative translation (in English) of the report is here.

(article posted by Yumiko Umehara, 28th Feb 2007)