The News of Japan 2050 Pathways Calculator

A simulation tool for engaging dialogues on the challenges and opportunities of the future energy system and response to climate change

2 May, 2014

The Japan 2050 Pathways Calculator can be a useful tool for engaging a range of audiences in dialogues on the challenges and opportunities for the future energy system and response to climate change. This was disclosed in the joint statement of the Governments of Japan and the United Kingdom on the occasion of the visit of the Japanese Prime Minister Abe to the UK on 1 May 2014 (read the full text of the joint statement here (GOV.UK Website)). Underscoring that climate change represents an urgent threat to the planet as well as its current and future generations, the two governments emphasised the need to increase cooperation on climate change and energy. The deployment of the 2050 Pathways Calculator has been specifically cited as one of the major information sharing instruments.

 Japan 2050 Pathways Calculator

The 2050 Pathways Calculator is a low-carbon scenario simulation tool published by the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) in July 2010 to help policymakers, academics, the business sector and the public to explore options on how the UK can best meet energy needs while reducing emissions. As a transparent and handy tool, the 2050 Calculator can help answer the fundamental questions of how the energy system can evolve over the coming decades and its impact on emissions, energy security, land-use, electricity systems, energy development and related costs, etc. (For more information, please go to the website:  In addition to its use in the UK, modified versions of the 2050 Pathways Calculator have been developed for China’s Mainland, Korea, Belgium (Wallonia region) and Taiwan.

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) have been jointly working on the development of the Japan 2050 Pathways Calculator since May of 2013 under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. The 2050 Calculator Team has received a great deal of technical assistance from the Calculator Team at the UK DECC and Mizuho Information and Research Institute. The British Embassy Tokyo has facilitated the cooperation with DECC and activities related to stakeholder meetings.

Following up on the development of the Japan 2050 Calculator, IGES and NIES organised two expert review meetings in February and April 2014 with relevant stakeholders to share and discuss the preliminary results of the Calculator. The comments from the experts have been fully reflected in the prototype of the Japan 2050 Calculator which will be pre-launched as the basis for the Call for Evidence for its further improvement. For details, please click here. The Call for Evidence will be announced soon in May on the IGES web page.

It is expected that the Japan 2050 Pathways Calculator will be useful for supporting the Japanese Government’s expressed intention in moving toward a low-carbon society. It can provide a better understanding of the fundamentals of different energy mixes and mitigation options for Japan, to give wider public access and receive feedback simultaneously. The Calculator can be a handy education and communication tool that will not only help the general audience to better understand the situation, but also assist policymakers in the decision-making process.

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