Japan: (1)Strengthen country pledge to the Paris Agreement; (2) Reduce the amount of coal in the country’s energy mix; (3) Set new standards for the thermal insulation of houses and buildings.
Japan should strengthen its NDC in 2 ways. First, Japan should reduce the amount of coal in its projected energy mix for 2030. According to its current objective, coal is supposed to occupy 26% of electricity generation in 2030. This percentage is almost equal to that of 2010. Thus, Japan is moving against the global trend of many countries that are phasing out coal. Second, Japan should have more ambitious energy saving goals for the year 2030. Current goals are that the consumption of electricity will increase in 2030 compared to 2014 even with great effort. However, many other countries which are as technologically advanced as Japan have goals to reduce energy consumption.
We suggest the following actions. First, Japan should stop building new coal power plants. These days, over 40 new coal power plants are being built or have already started construction. If all these plans were completed, Japan’s GHG emissions would increase by 10 %. Second, Japan should focus on the issue of heating buildings as heating occupies much of Japan’s energy consumption. The national energy plans created in 2014 do not mention absolute targets or plans related to heating. We suggest that Japan set new standards for the thermal insulation of houses and buildings. Last but not least, the government should establish GHG reduction standards for the industrial sector.