Transition management with “Just Transition” in Japanese power sector

Event: International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific 2019
Date: 31 July 2019
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“Just Transition” is an important, brand new concept to implement policies towards decarbonisation of the power sector (DPS) in Japan. However, a knowledge gap still remains between this concept and policy discussion at a practical level. Therefore, using the existing DPS scenarios and employment factors for the power sector based on extended input-output tables, this study analysed “Just Transition” issues, looking at the concept from three aspects: distributional justice to identify key impacts by location and economic sector; recognition justice to assess key inequalities; and procedural justice which deal with fair process and possible measures to enhance acceptability of climate policies. 

The results of this study show that achieving DPS provides a net increase in domestic employment and supplies stable jobs in rural areas, thereby contributing to the revitalisation of the local economy. Furthermore, it improves inequalities in the working age population. Support from either national or local government is required to ensure a workforce is in place to enable a rapid increase in renewable energy. To achieve DPS with high political acceptability, it is essential to make early decision on the retirement of conventional power plants and to implement policy support for the surplus workers from conventional power plants.

This study has been published in the following journal article. 

Kuriyama, A., & Abe, N. (2021). Decarbonisation of the power sector to engender a ‘Just transition’ in Japan: Quantifying local employment impacts. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 137, 110610.