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Japan’s cabinet approves draft Global Warming Mitigation Law

  • 14 years ago (2010-03-16)
  • David Flin
Asia 855 North America 1001 Nuclear 642 Renewables 757

The Japanese cabinet has approved a draft Global Warming Mitigation Law. With regard to the emissions trading scheme, which had been a focus of controversy until the final process of the discussion, the bill proposes establishment of a total emissions cap as the basic control method while also including the emissions intensity approach in the provisions. Compared with the total emissions cap, that would require companies to observe a fixed ceiling on their total emissions, the emissions intensity approach, which requires the reduction of emissions per unit of production, would place fewer burdens on the companies. The government aims to legislate the emissions trading scheme within one year after the Global Warming Mitigation Law takes effect.

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The bill also proposes future formulation of a basic plan for the mitigation of global warming. The basic plan would include targets for emission control and absorption, as well as emissions forecasts for 2030 and 2040. Upon drafting a basic plan, the process would incorporate measures to reflect opinions of the public and local governments.

The target for the introduction of renewable energies by 2020 envisioned in the bill is 10 per cent of Japan’s primary energy supply. The bill defines renewable energies to include solar photovoltaic, hydro, geothermal and solar heat power, as well as “other energy sources that can be used permanently and are specified by a government ordinance”, leaving room for the introduction of new technologies that could be effective in combating global warming. Establishment of a buyback programme for all renewable energy generated is also stipulated in the bill, in order to mandate electric utilities to purchase the entire amount of electricity generated with renewable energies at certain prices and under certain conditions. The bill also calls for a new tax to be implemented from 2011 for the purpose of mitigating global warming.

In addition, the bill states that Japan “will promote” nuclear power generation on the premise that safety is assured and public understanding is achieved. Nuclear power is also included in the areas for which Japan would promote the development of technologies to combat global warming.