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5 April, 2019

Governmental Advisory Panel of Experts Delivers Proposals about Japan’s Long-term Strategy Based on Paris Agreement

On April 2, a special advisory panel of experts addressing a long-term strategy for a low greenhouse-gas emission economy and society handed its proposals in person to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

With Japan hosting the G20 this year, and determined to “realize a virtuous cycle of environmental protection and economic growth and serve as a driving force in achieving a so-called ‘energy shift,’ realizing a low-carbon society for the world,” the panel, based on the Paris Agreement framework for climate-change measures, worked toward issuance of a new vision built on three pillars: (1) international business initiatives, (2) innovation, and (3) green finance.

Citing recent circumstances and changes, the proposals refer to the special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5ºC or more that was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report describes the current state of global warming more starkly than does the Paris Agreement, and stresses the needed for increased discussions in the international community toward a low-carbon society.

Also mentioned are several examples of innovation to promote an energy shift and realize a low-carbon society, such as (a) next-generation storage batteries, (b) the production, storage and utilization of hydrogen, (c) cosmic solar beam power, (d) next-generation geothermal power, (e) next-generation nuclear power, and (f) oceanic-current power.

Regarding future energy policy, as stated in the fifth Strategic Energy Plan, the proposals touch upon the importance of balancing the so-called “S+3E,” representing the conventional three E’s of energy security, economy and environmental protection, plus safety.

In the electric power area, the so-called energy shift and realization of a low-carbon society will be promoted toward 2050, including making renewable energies the main power sources.

As for nuclear power, while the degree of dependence on it will be reduced as much as possible, its utilization will have to be discussed, with the top priority to be placed on ensuring safety. The discussions are to include back-end measures, the siting of power sources, regulation, and technological development.

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