After the Quake: Prospects for Climate Policy
FNI Climate Policy Perspectives 1
The triple calamity of 11 March 2011 has dealt a serious
blow domestically to the credibility of the Japanese nuclear industry, putting
the country's energy policy in flux.
The severe impact on the country's
infrastructure, the unwieldiness of its bureaucracy and the chaotic political
situation preclude Japan's energy policy from explicitly re-orientating itself
before the middle of 2012, but political consensus seems to be emerging that
the country's mid-term pledge on emission reductions will need to be
The bill on renewable energy passed under Prime Minister Kan
marked a step in the right direction, but was shallow and politically
opportunistic. Its future impact on policy is uncertain.
policy instruments on climate proposed by the Democratic Party of Japan
toothless or abandoned, Tokyo's ability to engage in significant mitigation
activities domestically is in question.
Opposition to a second
commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol remains firm; Japan will continue to
pursue bilateral mechanisms outside the UNFCCC framework.
frail domestic policy and a stated readiness to act internationally outside
multilateral frameworks, Japan's promise to carry out significant mitigation
activities even in the absence of a clear and comprehensive post-2012 legal
instrument should be viewed with a critical eye.