Green Economy: Outline
IGES Green Economy Area will contribute to promoting transition to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where dynamic economic growth has been achieved but severe poverty still exists. Several key issues need to be tackled, including decoupling of resource use from economic growth, ensuring that more public and private investment is channeled into green sectors and into the transformation of pollution and carbon-intensive sectors, transfer of low-carbon technologies from developed to developing countries, and investment in ecosystem conservation through innovative financial mechanisms. We will devote our efforts to explore effective policy options to promote real changes in the transition towards a green economy through policy analysis on green investment, green jobs, energy market integration, and valuation of natural capitals, by means of quantitative approaches such as macro-economic models, econometrics, and geographical information system.
Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator
Post-Fukushima Japan is at a crossroads in terms of choosing its energy policies through selecting the appropriate energy mix and sticking to its commitments for reducing its GHG emissions by 80% by 2050. For this, Japan needs to transform its economy while ensuring safe, secure, low carbon energy supplies to 2050 . To facilitate this effort, IGES, together with the National Institute for Environmental Studies, with support from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, is developing a 2050 Pathways Calculator as an effective tool for assessing various options for achieving Japan’s emission reduction targets. The Pathways Calculator, originally developed by the UK, offers an easy-to-use model for users to create their own emissions reduction pathways and see the impacts using real data. The Pathways Calculator is likely to be very effective in delivering the fundamentals of energy mix and mitigation options for Japan to get wider public access and receive feedback simultaneously.
Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator (Web Tool)
- International Conference
ITRI, UK DECC and IGES co-organise the International Conference on 2050 Calculator in Taipei (10-12 February 2015)
- Launch of Web Tool and Web Site for Low Carbon Navigator (22 July 2014)
- Trial workshop of the Japan 2050 Low Carbon Navigator (12 May 2014)
- The News of Japan 2050 Pathways Calculator (2 May 2014)
- Experts review the preliminary results of the Japan 2050 Pathways Calculator developed by IGES and NIES (20 February 2014 Tokyo)
- IGES and DECC organise the Japan 2050 Calculator Training Programme
- DECC 2050 Pathways Calculator
- My 2050 Web Tool
- DECC 2050 Pathway
- 2050 Calculator Wiki
Business Roles and Initiatives
In making the transition to a low-carbon society, the involvement of industry is significant from the perspectice of its economic and political power in the formation of climate policies, as well as the important role industry plays in the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies. This research, and related activities, will examine the role of industry in the introduction of ambitious climate change policies and concrete strategies to substantiate a green economy. Specifically, together with Japan Climate Leaders' Partnership (Japan-CLP) (a leading business coalition on climate change), proposals on climate policies from a business standpoint will be delivered. In addition, business models that contribute to the creation of a green economy, such as green gifting, will be recommended and their implementation potential will be looked into further.
J-CLP Website »
Green Investment and Green Jobs
Green investment is an important means to ensure the transition towards a green economy. Channelling both public and private investment into green sectors and into the transformation of pollution and carbon-intensive sectors is vital for fundamental changes to occur in the structure of conventional economies and infrastructure which is built on un-sustainable use of energy and natural resources. This project will examine and compare current and future policies and institutions involved in promoting green investment in selected Asian and Pacific countries by assessing the economic, job creation and environmental effects of green investment, and supporting policy making on green investment.
The promotion of green jobs is central to the transformation of economies, enterprises and labour markets into a sustainable and low-carbon economy providing decent work. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on collaborations for conducting research activities on environment-economy-employment linkages and the employment and social dimensions of climate change and other environmental policies at the national and regional levels in Asia and the Pacific. Several country studies (the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia) have been conducted to help national policy making on the promotion of green jobs.
ILO-ROAP Green Jobs Website »
Value of Natural Capital
Ecosystems and biodiversity not only provide essential resources for our daily lives, including food and water, but also regulate climate, purify water, mitigate natural hazards, and offer recreation opportunities. So as to halt the degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity on a global scale, we need to make their values visible and integrate them into our decision making at all levels. This project quantifies and evaluates these ecosystem services using geographical information system techniques, and will propose effective policy options to mobilize public and private financial resources for building an economy and society harmonizing with nature.
The achievement of water, energy and food security is fundamental to sustain population growth and rising economic prosperity and help millions of people access water for their basic needs, access safe sanitation, access modern forms of energy supply and get rid of undernourishment. Facing the multiple challenges we have on water shortage, climate change and food crisis, we need to adopt a new nexus perspective for thinking as well as taking action to address the unsustainable models of growth and resource constraints and, in doing so, promote secure access to basic services. This Water-Energy-Food Nexus study aims to provide knowledge to better understand the inter-linkages between the water, energy and food sectors and support integrated policy-making by identifying mutually beneficial responses and determining trade-offs to meet demand without compromising sustainability within our planetary boundaries. It will be conducted in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
Sustainable Resource Use
Global sustainable development requires addressing both over-consumption by the rich and under-consumption by the poor, through sustainable use of resource and ecosystem services that provide life supporting services. One of the important perspectives is that most of these environmental pressures do not constitute part of the traded products but remain as hidden upstream burdens to the producing countries. So as to address this issue effectively, it is important to develop an analytical framework and indicators for quantitatively assessing the life cycle environmental impacts of resource consumption from resource exploitation, processing and product use to recycling and final disposal. This project aims to address these research needs and to contribute to the visualisation of the benefits of sustainable resource use policies including 3R policies not only in Japan but also other countries that provide resources to Japan. Simultaneously, we attempt to account for carbon emissions and primary resources embodied in trade by using a global multi-region input-output model to address emissions reduction and resource use efficiency improvements from a global supply chain perspective. This project is financially supported by the Policy Study of Environmental Economics of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
Sustainability and Happiness Indicator
Indicators enable us to evaluate the current situation and to set up future targets in general. For the last several decades, we have heavily focused on the maximization of one indicator, namely, gross domestic product (GDP). This has resulted in severe environmental problems, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, and societal human issues including inequality and disparity. So as to shift the paradigm from GDP-oriented to a sustainable and happy society orientation, some global initiatives, e.g. Beyond GDP and Inclusive Wealth Index, have been initiated since the latter half of the 2000s. In line with this political momentum, our project aims to develop one integrated indicator which can assess the sustainability and happiness of our society.
LCS-RNet and LoCARNet
IGES currently serves as the secretariat function of LCS-RNet and LoCARNet. LCS-RNet is a practical platform of researchers/research organisations who are closely contributing to the low-carbon policy-making process of G8 countries, while LoCARNet is a network for the Asian region. LCS-RNet/LoCARNet facilitate interactions between researchers and various stakeholders, and deliver their findings to policymakers to assist science-based policymaking in transitioning to low-carbon societies. The two networks are expected to be integrated in the future as a low-carbon platform for both developed and developing countries to enhance the capacity of researchers to stabilise the world’s climate.
LCS-RNet/LoCARNet Website »