IGES launches Policy Briefs #5
Foreign Carbon Credit Purchasing Options Open to Japan to Achieve the Kyoto Target

20 December 2006 - Hayama, Japan
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Japan, has launched Policy Brief #5, entitled "Foreign Carbon Credit Purchasing Options Open to Japan to Achieve the Kyoto Target."

The Kyoto Protocol, which committed industrialised countries to accept targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, sets Japan’s target at 6% below that of the 1990 level in the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012. The Kyoto Target Achievement Plan (KTAP) adopted by the Japanese government in 2005 estimates that the 2010 GHG emissions for Japan will be 6% higher than the 1990 level with existing policies and measures, which means it is necessary to reduce emissions by 12% in order to achieve the target. In the KTAP, 1.6% out of the 12%, which corresponds to 100 million tons (MT) CO2e during the first commitment period and represents the remainder after reduction through domestic policies alone will be reduced by utilising Kyoto Mechanisms.

However, the latest evidence shows that GHG emissions in Japan have been increasing. Moreover, since there is also uncertainty on reduction through domestic policy measures and utilisation of sinks, it may be necessary to acquire over 1.6%-worth of carbon credits from abroad.

Recognising the need to establish a mechanism in Japan to secure credits from abroad corresponding to at least 1.6% based on KTAP, this policy brief propose two parallel but interlinked stages:

1) Effective implementation of a purchasing scheme
- Shift from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, which have an uncertain future but generate credits at relatively low cost at the moment, to Green Investment Systems (GIS) especially "hard greening" which have large supply potential and the long-term impact on emissions reductions as the credits resource.
- Continuing to use the special account on petroleum for the revenue source.
2) The establishment of a domestic cap and trading scheme linked to other domestic emissions trading schemes

This policy brief was written based on data available up to the end of October 2006.
The brief states "The Ministry of Economy (METI), and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) have so far secured funds of JPY 12.2 billion (USD 115.6 million) including JPY 5.4 billion (USD 51.2 million) for the FY2006 project budget from special accounts on petroleum". However, the draft budget for FY2007, which was recently announced, appropriates JPY 12.9 billion (USD 122.3 million) for credit acquisition for FY2007 with a certain amount of resulting in Treasury obligation. Moreover, the total amount of this budget is expected to increase in line with the accumulation of the budget after FY2007.

Download the Policy Brief

Ms. Megumi Kido
PR Officer, IGES
2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115 Japan
Tel: +81 46-855-3734
Fax: +81 46-855-3709

A series of policy briefs was launched in June 2005 to send out the research outcomes of our researchers as clear and timely policy proposals for governmental agencies, international organisations, businesses, NGOs and others all over the world. They raise the latest issues concerning sustainable development and provide appropriate policy options.
#005: Foreign Carbon Credit Purchasing Options Open to Japan to Achieve the Kyoto Target
#004: Rationalisation of Industrial Sector Water Use is the Key to Sound Groundwater Management
#003: Combatting Forest Degradation - Certification as a driving force for amelioration
#002: Information Access as a Vehicle for Sustainable Development in Asia
#001: Networking International Recycling Zones in Asia

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