Japan NRG hosted a webinar on Japan’s policy ambitions in regard to decarbonization and what happens when ambitions meet reality.
Decarbonization: Policy Ambitions vs Performance
Speakers: Andrew DeWit, Professor of energy policy, School of Economic Policy Studies at Rikkyo University, Tokyo,
Japan NRG founder Yuriy Humber
The past year has seen a flurry of declarations concerning decarbonization — at the national, corporate and local levels. Yet, just months after the COP26 climate conference vowed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, governments including Japan are introducing new support for gas, petroleum- based fuels, and other carbon sources.
The actions of Japan and others don’t necessarily contradict their increased net-zero ambitions. On energy, governments everywhere are scrambling to address an increasingly complex and dynamic reality whose implications for security, costs, and other critical issues entail fast and flexible policy responses. Ignoring immediate and near-term supply, affordability and other imperatives is not an option for policymakers. Indeed, poor performance in “keeping the lights on” and addressing energy poverty could very well threaten the long-term political and economic viability of a decarbonizing energy transition.
In this webinar, we looked at Japan’s clean policy ambitions and performance in a global context, focusing on:
– Green Taxonomies and diversifying definitions of “green energy” in 2022
– Why Japan/others continue to support oil and other fossil fuels
– How critical mineral constraints may delay / increase the costs of net-zero action
– Economic side-effects that no country can ignore
The webinar examined several major factors that complicate decarbonization, beyond lobbying by entrenched industries, and could make it more protracted than envisioned in many policy ambitions.
Andrew DeWit is a Professor in the School of Economic Policy Studies at Rikkyo University, Tokyo, and an Asia-Pacific Journal editor. His work examines the raw materials, technologies and politics that formulate energy policy, and how policies translate into real action. He is the author of “Japan’s (re)integration of energy in industrial policy,” in Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan, 2nd Edition, and “Energy,” in the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Japan.
Yuriy Humber is the founder and chief editor of the Japan NRG platform. Yuriy is also a columnist on energy issues for the Nikkei Asia and co-author of an economic research report on Japan by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ).