IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A roadmap towards a low-carbon society in Japan using backcasting methodology: Feasible pathways for achieving an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050


  • Ashina, Shuichi
  • Fujino, Junichi
  • Masui, Toshihiko
  • Ehara, Tomoki
  • Hibino, Go


The purpose of the study is to analyze feasibility and a roadmap of a low-carbon society in Japan by 2050, while satisfying required demands. Future technology roadmaps, CO2 emission pathways and energy mix transitions leading Japan are calculated using the AIM/Backcasting Model based on backcasting methodology with taking into consideration that one of the keys for technological market penetration is the preferences of consumers. Under the CO2 emission target of 80% reduction as compared to 1990 level by 2050, it is found from the results that the target is feasible in Japan by implementing actions toward low-carbon society as early as possible. From the perspective of minimizing the total costs, it would be best to target a reduction rate of 16–20% in 2020, 31–35% in 2030 and 53–56% in 2040 within the range of Scenarios A and B. During this process, major investment will be needed in the early stage of the analytical periods, especially in the residential, commercial and transport sectors. However, viewed in the long term, this can be recovered by reduction in energy consumption. Moreover, the analysis suggests that returns that balance the total investment may be possible.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashina, Shuichi & Fujino, Junichi & Masui, Toshihiko & Ehara, Tomoki & Hibino, Go, 2012. "A roadmap towards a low-carbon society in Japan using backcasting methodology: Feasible pathways for achieving an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 584-598.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:41:y:2012:i:c:p:584-598
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.11.020

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kemfert, Claudia & Truong, Truong, 2007. "Impact assessment of emissions stabilization scenarios with and without induced technological change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5337-5345, November.
    2. Gerlagh, Reyer, 2007. "Measuring the value of induced technological change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5287-5297, November.
    3. Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2004. "Cost-effective environmental policy: implications of induced technological change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 1099-1121, November.
    4. Kannan, R., 2009. "Uncertainties in key low carbon power generation technologies - Implication for UK decarbonisation targets," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 86(10), pages 1873-1886, October.
    5. Dagoumas, [alpha].S. & Barker, T.S., 2010. "Pathways to a low-carbon economy for the UK with the macro-econometric E3MG model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3067-3077, June.
    6. Ekholm, Tommi & Soimakallio, Sampo & Moltmann, Sara & Höhne, Niklas & Syri, Sanna & Savolainen, Ilkka, 2010. "Effort sharing in ambitious, global climate change mitigation scenarios," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1797-1810, April.
    7. Gomi, Kei & Shimada, Kouji & Matsuoka, Yuzuru, 2010. "A low-carbon scenario creation method for a local-scale economy and its application in Kyoto city," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 4783-4796, September.
    8. Kemfert, Claudia, 2005. "Induced technological change in a multi-regional, multi-sectoral, integrated assessment model (WIAGEM): Impact assessment of climate policy strategies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 293-305, August.
    9. Akimoto, Keigo & Tomoda, Toshimasa & Fujii, Yasumasa & Yamaji, Kenji, 2004. "Assessment of global warming mitigation options with integrated assessment model DNE21," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 635-653, July.
    10. Schultz, Peter A & Kasting, James F, 1997. "Optimal reductions in CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 491-500, April.
    11. Pugh, Graham & Clarke, Leon & Marlay, Robert & Kyle, Page & Wise, Marshall & McJeon, Haewon & Chan, Gabriel, 2011. "Energy R&D portfolio analysis based on climate change mitigation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 634-643, July.
    12. Wu, Zongxin & He, Jiankun & Zhang, Aling & Xu, Qing & Zhang, Shuyu & Sathaye, Jayant, 1994. "A macro-assessment of technology options for CO2 mitigation in China's energy system," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(11), pages 907-913, November.
    13. den Elzen, Michel & Höhne, Niklas & van Vliet, Jasper, 2009. "Analysing comparable greenhouse gas mitigation efforts for Annex I countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 4114-4131, October.
    14. Aki, Hirohisa & Oyama, Tsutomu & Tsuji, Kiichiro, 2006. "Analysis of energy service systems in urban areas and their CO2 mitigations and economic impacts," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 83(10), pages 1076-1088, October.
    15. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Schneider, Stephen H., 1999. "Induced technological change and the attractiveness of CO2 abatement policies," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 211-253, August.
    16. Chen, Qixin & Kang, Chongqing & Xia, Qing & Guan, Dabo, 2011. "Preliminary exploration on low-carbon technology roadmap of China’s power sector," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1500-1512.
    17. Junichi Fujino & Go Hibino & Tomoki Ehara & Yuzuru Matsuoka & Toshihiko Masui & Mikiko Kainuma, 2008. "Back-casting analysis for 70% emission reduction in Japan by 2050," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(sup1), pages 108-124, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. M. AlSabbagh & Y. L. Siu & A. Guehnemann & J. Barrett, 2017. "Mitigation of CO2 emissions from the road passenger transport sector in Bahrain," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 99-119, January.
    2. repec:eee:tefoso:v:124:y:2017:i:c:p:114-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mustapa, Siti Indati & Bekhet, Hussain Ali, 2016. "Analysis of CO2 emissions reduction in the Malaysian transportation sector: An optimisation approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 171-183.
    4. Su, Xuanming & Zhou, Weisheng & Sun, Faming & Nakagami, Ken'Ichi, 2014. "Possible pathways for dealing with Japan's post-Fukushima challenge and achieving CO2 emission reduction targets in 2030," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 90-97.
    5. Thepkhun, Panida & Limmeechokchai, Bundit & Fujimori, Shinichiro & Masui, Toshihiko & Shrestha, Ram M., 2013. "Thailand's Low-Carbon Scenario 2050: The AIM/CGE analyses of CO2 mitigation measures," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 561-572.
    6. repec:eee:trapol:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:19-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Koo, Choongwan & Kim, Hyunjoong & Hong, Taehoon, 2014. "Framework for the analysis of the low-carbon scenario 2020 to achieve the national carbon Emissions reduction target: Focused on educational facilities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 356-367.
    8. repec:eee:transa:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:26-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2017:i:1:p:20-:d:124000 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Taesik Yun & Younggook Kim & Jang-yeop Kim, 2017. "Feasibility Study of the Post-2020 Commitment to the Power Generation Sector in South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-19, February.
    11. Robertson, Elizabeth & O'Grady, Áine & Barton, John & Galloway, Stuart & Emmanuel-Yusuf, Damiete & Leach, Matthew & Hammond, Geoff & Thomson, Murray & Foxon, Tim, 2017. "Reconciling qualitative storylines and quantitative descriptions: An iterative approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 293-306.
    12. Oshiro, Ken & Masui, Toshihiko, 2015. "Diffusion of low emission vehicles and their impact on CO2 emission reduction in Japan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 215-225.
    13. repec:eee:appene:v:205:y:2017:i:c:p:644-653 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Phdungsilp, Aumnad & Wuttipornpun, Teeradej, 2013. "Analyses of the decarbonizing Thailand's energy system toward low-carbon futures," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 187-197.
    15. Olsson, Linda & Hjalmarsson, Linnea & Wikström, Martina & Larsson, Mårten, 2015. "Bridging the implementation gap: Combining backcasting and policy analysis to study renewable energy in urban road transport," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 72-82.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:41:y:2012:i:c:p:584-598. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.