Implications of Japan’s long term climate mitigation target and the relevance of uncertain nuclear policy

Silva Herran, D., Fujimori, S. ORCID:, & Kainuma, M. (2019). Implications of Japan’s long term climate mitigation target and the relevance of uncertain nuclear policy. Climate Policy 19 (9) 1117-1131. 10.1080/14693062.2019.1634507.

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Achieving long-term climate mitigation goals in Japan faces several challenges, starting with the uncertain nuclear power policy after the 2011 earthquake, the uncertain availability and progress of energy technologies, as well as energy security concerns in light of a high dependency on fuel imports. The combined weight of these challenges needs to be clarified in terms of the energy system and macroeconomic impacts. We applied a general equilibrium energy economic model to assess these impacts on an 80% emission reduction target by 2050 considering several alternative scenarios for nuclear power deployment, technology availability, end use energy efficiency, and the price of fossil fuels. We found that achieving the mitigation target was feasible for all scenarios, with considerable reductions in total energy consumption (39%–50%), higher shares of low-carbon sources (43%–72% compared to 15%), and larger shares of electricity in the final energy supply (51%–58% compared to 42%). The economic impacts of limiting nuclear power by 2050 (3.5% GDP loss) were small compared to the lack of carbon capture and storage (CCS) (6.4% GDP loss). Mitigation scenarios led to an improvement in energy security indicators (trade dependency and diversity of primary energy sources) even in the absence of nuclear power. Moreover, preliminary analysis indicates that expanding the range of renewable energy resources can lower the macroeconomic impacts of the long term target considerably, and thus further in depth analysis is needed on this aspect. Key policy insights For Japan, an emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050 is feasible without nuclear power or CCS. The macroeconomic impact of such a 2050 target was largest without CCS, and smallest without nuclear power. Energy security indicators improved in mitigation scenarios compared to the baseline.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate mitigation targets; Japan; macroeconomic impact; scenario
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2019 09:55
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:31

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