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Improving the Policy Framework in Japan to Address Climate Change

  • Randall S. Jones
  • Byungseo Yoo
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    Japan, a relatively energy-efficient country, has been active in combating climate change. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Japan is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 6% relative to 1990 over the period 2008-12. As of 2007, however, its emissions were up by 9%. Japan has relied primarily on voluntary measures, which are monitored by the government, without binding commitments or price signals on carbon. It is essential to improve the policy framework to achieve its ambitious longer-term target of a 60% to 80% emission reduction by 2050 in a cost-effective manner. Japan should shift from voluntary measures to market-based instruments, notably a mandatory and comprehensive emission trading scheme, supplemented if necessary, by carbon taxes in areas not covered by trading, which minimise abatement costs and promote innovation to reduce emissions. Trading schemes should be linked to those in other countries, while expanding Japan’s use of a well-functioning Clean Development Mechanism. Continued public support for R&D in emission reduction technology, particularly in basic research, is important. Améliorer le cadre d'action au Japon pour lutter contre le changement climatique Le Japon, pays où l’efficacité énergétique est relativement élevée, lutte activement contre le changement climatique. En vertu du Protocole de Kyoto, il s’est engagé à réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 6 % par rapport à 1990 sur la période 2008-12. En 2007, toutefois, ses émissions avaient augmenté de 9 %. Le Japon s’appuie essentiellement sur des mesures volontaires, qui sont contrôlées par le gouvernement, sans engagements contraignants ni signal-prix sur le carbone. Il doit absolument améliorer son cadre d’action pour pouvoir réaliser son objectif ambitieux à long terme d’une réduction des émissions de 60 à 80 % d’ici à 2050 de manière efficace par rapport au coût. Le Japon devrait passer de mesures volontaires à des instruments de marché, notamment un système d’échange de droits d’émissions obligatoire et complet, complété si nécessaire par des taxes carbone dans les secteurs non couverts, de façon à minimiser les coûts de dépollution et à encourager l’innovation dans la réduction des émissions. Le système d’échange devrait être relié à ceux d’autres pays, alors que le recours par le Japon à un Mécanisme pour un développement propre fonctionnant correctement devrait se développer. L’aide publique continue à la R-D en matière de technologies de réduction des émissions, particulièrement dans la recherche fondamentale, est importante.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/218874608768
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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 740.

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    Date of creation: 04 Dec 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:740-en
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