Trends of the Zero Carbon Cities in Japan

In Asian Research Policy
Volume (Issue): 12
Peer-reviewed Article
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The Paris Agreement sets the goal to limit the global warming to well below 2 °C and preferably 1.5 °C. The recent IPCC report warned that 1.5 °C-warming may occur much earlier than expected. To meet the 1.5 °C target, global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) should be net zero by 2050 or earlier. Increasing number of countries, local governments, and private companies are committing for the 1.5 °C target worldwide.

In Japan, this zero carbon movement was initiate by several local governments in 2019, followed by the national government’s commitment in 2020. Now, over 400 local governments, representing nearly 90% of the national population in Japan, announced themselves as the “Zero Carbon City” under the national framework (as of July 30th 2021).

This article illustrates the rapidly increasing trends of the Zero Carbon Cities with the overview of emission and energy status in Japan, and analyzes the triggering and supporting elements including the new development of national policies and strategies to ensure the implementation of zero carbon measures at local level as well as to create social and economic co-benefit to the local regions.