Achievements of industries under the jurisdictions of METI and MOE
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) assessed and examined the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society, a collection of plans formulated by 44 industries over which METI and MOE have jurisdiction, based on the FY2018 performance of these industries, and compiled the results.
In addition, METI aims to enhance approaches that convey information to people both inside and outside of Japan on the business community’s countermeasures against global warming, including the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society, and to this end, it created a website and a brochure.
The Keidanren and the industrial associations of 115 industries have been formulating the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society as a voluntary effort for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures, on which a Cabinet Decision was made on May 13, 2016, positions the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society as an effort playing a central role in measures that the business community should take, and it stipulates that these commitments should strictly and regularly be assessed and examined by a related council. In accordance with this policy, METI inaugurated seven industry-based working groups (hereinafter referred to as the “Industry-based WGs”) under the Global Environment Subcommittee of the Committee on Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment under the Industrial Structure Council, while the MOE inaugurated an Expert Committee on Follow-ups of the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society (hereinafter referred to as the “Expert Committee”) of the Study Group on Global Environment under the Central Environment Council. Both are initiatives aiming to improve the transparency of and trust in efforts by industrial associations. Since then, these bodies have been assessing and examining such commitments conducted by industries over which METI or MOE has jurisdiction of every fiscal year. The results of follow-ups by the Industry-based WGs and the Expert Committee have been reported to a Joint Meeting of the Global Environment Subcommittee of the Industrial Structure Council and the Expert Committee on Follow-ups of the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society of the Central Environment Council (hereinafter referred to as the “Joint Meeting”), and METI and MOE have been streamlining the results of such assessment and examination as well as compiling future challenges and other issues concerning the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society.
Results of the assessment and examination, overview of future challenges, and other issues
In FY2019, the Industry-based WGs and the Expert Committee assessed and examined the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society, which was compiled based on the FY2018 performance of industries. Following this, the Joint Meeting held a document-based meeting from March 19 to 27, 2020, and compiled the results of the assessment and examination as well as future challenges and other issues.
(1) 2020 and 2030 goals for reducing CO2 emissions from companies’ activities in Japan
The results uncover that 31 industries have already archived their 2020 goals and 18 achieved their 2030 goals out of 44 industries over which METI and MOE have jurisdiction, showing the fact that these industries have been steadily advancing their efforts ahead of schedule.
|41 industries for METI + 3 industries for MOE||2020 goals||2030 goals|
|Showing FY2018 performance exceeding the level of the goals||31 industries||18 industries|
|Not reaching the level of the goals as for the FY2018 performance, while having reduced such emissions compared to the base year or from a business as usual (BAU)* baseline||9 industries||23 industries|
|Not reaching the level of the goals since CO2 emissions as FY2018 performance have increased compared to the base year or from a BAU baseline||2 industries||1 industry|
|Not aggregating data yet, etc.||2 industries||2 industries|
*Note: The term “business as usual” or BAU refers to conditions in which companies take no measures and continue their ordinary business activities.
(2) Contributions to other sectors, contributions to overseas countries and development and deployment of innovative technologies
The current conditions of efforts tackled by 44 industries over which METI and MOE have jurisdiction are as follows. The industrial associations that have already made a list of their efforts and quantified the amount of CO2 that they have reduced improved the details of such lists or quantification, e.g., increasing the number of items of the list and sophisticating calculation methods of quantification.
|41 industries for METI + 3 industries for MOE||Number of industries that have made a list of their efforts||Number of industries that have made a list of their efforts and also quantified the amount of CO2 that they have reduced|
|Contributed to other sectors in reducing CO2||41 industries||28 industries|
|Contributed to overseas countries in reducing CO2||26 industries||15 industries|
|Developed and deployed innovative technologies||32 industries||10 industries|
(3) Future challenges and other issues
Future challenges and other issues concerning the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society were streamlined as below.
- Enhancing efforts to achieve these goals
The results uncover that 10 industries out of 44 over which METI and MOE have jurisdiction have revised their goals, and METI and MOE confirmed that these 10 industries have been making a plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle functional in a steady manner. As for industries that have already achieved their 2030 goals ahead of schedule, it is necessary to continue to revise their commitment plans, e.g., by checking if there is any room to further raise the current goals.
- Checking 2030 goals
Some members of the Industry-based WGs stated opinions requesting industrial associations to explain the consistency between: the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society positioned in the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures as an effort playing a central role in measures that the business community should take; and Japan’s 2030 goals. The year of 2020, when the Paris Agreement entered the phase of full implementation, is the initial year and an important one for Japan to achieve its nationally determined contribution (NDC). It is significant for industrial associations to enrich discussions on ideal approaches to advancing follow-ups bearing in mind the level of contributions by the business community to the government’s 2030 goals in order to assess whether or not industries have made progress in advancing the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society.
- Contributing to other sectors and contributing to overseas countries
Industries should contribute to reducing CO2 emissions throughout value chains by disseminating their products, services and other technologies with outstanding environmental performance to people inside and outside Japan. They are expected to: convey information on their contributions to reduction of emissions to investors and other stakeholders, while taking into consideration international trends in disclosure of information on industries’ environmental efforts; and thereby receive appraisal from international society for Japanese companies’ contributions and strong points.
- Conveying more information to people both inside and outside of Japan
Industries should convey their case examples of reducing CO2 emissions, achievements, approaches thereto and other efforts, which such industries have accumulated, and thereby they should contribute to worldwide reduction of such emissions.
It is important for the business community to convey to people inside and outside of Japan information on their proactive, global-level contributions to countermeasures against global warming through advancing their voluntary efforts, and including the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society. To this end, METI created webpages on the business community’s voluntary efforts involving countermeasures against global warming on its Japanese and English websites. In addition, it also prepared a brochure in Japanese and English for the purpose of raising public awareness of the Commitment to a Low-Carbon Society.
Through these efforts, METI will strive to convey related information to the public in a more proactive manner.