Throughout the negotiations and until the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, industrialized countries were required to negotiate their GHG emission reduction targets for 2010. Many industrialized countries have proposed an equal percentage of emission reductions for all countries, based on the argument that each country could justify its own reasons for not reducing greenhouse gas emissions as sharply as other countries and that it would therefore be impossible to agree on differentiated targets. However, Japan strongly advocated for differentiated targets and stated that Japan`s potential to further improve energy efficiency was lower than that of most other countries. Given that Japan`s persistent position on differentiated targets has been supported by other industrialized countries such as Australia and Norway, the agreed rates of reduction differ from country to country compared to 1990 emissions: 6% for Japan, 7% for the United States and 8% for the European Union (EU) for the five years 2008-2012 (referred to as the «first commitment period» in the Kyoto Protocol). The COVID-19 crisis continues to have a significant impact on the Japanese economy. It is estimated that the country`s CO2 emissions for energy and industry in the first six months of 2020 decreased by 7.5% compared to the same period in 2019. The impact of COVID-19 adds to an already downward trend in greenhouse gas emissions, which decreased by an average of 2.5% per year between 2013 and 2018 and by 3.9% in 2018. With recent announcements of phasing out inefficient coal-fired power plants and promoting offshore wind, the government`s current policy is expected to exceed its «highly insufficient» NDC target for 2030, an outcome that will still be far from transitional trajectories compatible with the Paris Agreement. On the other hand, in Japan, the investments needed to promote the energy transition are not sufficiently distributed between the electricity and heat supply sectors. If the current situation is not taken into account, it will be difficult to achieve the substantial long-term reductions (decarbonisation) demanded by the Paris Agreement and the disruptions to energy supply on which people`s lives and activities are based. For the above reasons, Japanese stakeholders have recognized greenhouse gas reduction as a savings issue. Discussions in Japan focused on the extent to which Japan could reduce CO2 emissions without harming the business community.
Japanese industry was very interested in comparing the relative magnitude of the economic burden needed to reduce emissions with other countries, in particular the US, the EU and China. Japanese industry has fairly well recognized scientific knowledge about the mechanisms of global warming and global warming, but has argued that reducing CO2 emissions should only be done in countries where energy efficiency is worse than in Japan. For example, when then-Prime Minister Taro Aso held a press conference to announce Japan`s GHG emissions reduction target for 2020, he drew attention to three aspects to consider: (1) the participation of all major emitters, namely the United States and China (2), in maintaining a balance between environmental protection and economic growth, and (3) achieving a long-term goal. reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% to 80% by 2050; and that innovative technologies and nuclear energy are indispensable for achieving such ambitious goals. He also stressed that deep emission reductions, such as a 25% reduction compared to 1990, would represent a heavy economic burden for households and would therefore not be acceptable under his government. . . .