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Improving the Policy Framework in Japan to Address Climate Change


  • Randall S. Jones


  • Byungseo Yoo



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.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall S. Jones & Byungseo Yoo, 2009. "Improving the Policy Framework in Japan to Address Climate Change," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 740, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:740-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Heindl, Peter & Voigt, Sebastian, 2011. "A practical approach to offset permits in post Kyoto climate policy," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-043, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Svetlana Maslyuk & Dinusha Dharmaratna, 2011. "Comparative analysis of the existing and proposed ETS," Monash Economics Working Papers 15-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    carbon sinks; carbon tax; changement climatique; Clean Development Mechanism; Cool Earth 50; Cool Earth 50; COP 15; COP 15; efficacité énergétique; emissions trading systems; energy efficiency; greenhouse gas emissions; Kyoto protocol; mécanisme pour un développement propre; programme Top Runner; Protocole de Kyoto; puits de carbone; renewable energy; système d’échange de droits d’émissions; taxes carbone; Top Runner Programme; émissions de gaz à effet de serre; énergies renouvelables;

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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