(Provisional Translation)

Progress on the Guideline for Measures to Prevent Global Warming and Priorities for Future Action (Summary)

July 10, 2001

1. Introduction

  • As part of the "Guideline for Measures to Prevent Global Warming" (Decision of the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters, June 19, 1998), an annual review is conducted regarding the status of implementation. Continuing on from the follow-up last year and two years ago, we summarized the progress of the major measures and the priorities for future action as part of the third round of follow-up.

  • In order to enable the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol possible by the countries concerned, Japan is currently dedicating itself to negotiations aimed at the success of the resumed Sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP6). In light of our belief that it is crucial that the United States, as the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), also ratify the Kyoto Protocol on that occasion in order to ensure the effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale, we must continue to encourage the United States to participate constructively in negotiations aimed at putting the Kyoto Protocol into effect. At the same time, it is necessary to gain the understanding and cooperation of the Japanese people and put in place the domestic regime necessitated by conclusion of the Protocol.

  • As part of the Government's measures to prevent global warming, after the Guideline for Measures to Prevent Global Warming were decided, the revised "Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy" and the revised "Law Concerning the Promotion of the Measures to Cope with Global Warming" came into effect in April 1999, and it is essential that the various concrete measures based on this regime continue to be steadily implemented.

2. Major Actions

    [Comprehensive Promotion of Measures to Prevent Global Warming]
  • Since the"Law Concerning the Promotion of Measures to Cope with Global Warming "went into effect in April 1999, 412 municipalities in 40 prefectures have formulated action plans concerning their own work and projects. Prefectural Centers for the Promotion of Activities to Cope with Global Warming have been designated in eight prefectures, and 1,453 volunteers to promote activities to stop global warming have been commissioned in 12 prefectures.

  • In order to examine matters such as emission coefficients for greenhouse gases every fiscal year, based on the enforcement ordinance for the "Law Concerning the Promotion of the Measures to Cope with Global Warming", a meeting of the Consultative Group on Methods for Calculating Greenhouse Gas Emissions was held, and emission coefficients were compiled in September 2000.

    [Energy demand-side measures]

  • Based on the revised "Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Saving Law)," in FY2000 heaters, gas water heaters, oil water heaters, heating and cooking appliances, warm-air heaters, electric devices for heating and heat capture, automatic goods-vending machines and transformers were added to the existing designated devices (11 items) for the purpose of further improving energy efficiency.

  • Through enforcement of the revised Energy Saving Law, what were previously known as Designated Energy Management Factories became Type 1 Designated Energy Management Factories (approximately 4,100 locations) and were obligated to draw up medium to long term plans to encourage rational energy use. In addition, a system of Type 2 Designated Energy Management Factories for factories and businesses with medium-scale energy consumption was introduced, and approximately 6,700 factories had been designated as of March 31, 2001.

  • Conservation of energy and resources will be promoted through the introduction of ISO14001 (Environmental Management System; established as JIS Q14001) in enterprises, local governments and elsewhere. By the end of FY2000, 5,222 certifications had been conducted under ISO14001.

  • Various types of infrastructural development have been advanced, contributing to the creation of low CO2-emitting urban and regional structures, the improvement of the efficiency of distribution systems, the promotion of public transport use and the alleviation of traffic congestion.
    • Reinforcement of bridges spanning approximately 6,000 km to cope with the increased size of vehicles, and the completion of a total road network of 42,000 km
    • Development of domestic trade terminals meeting the requirements for intermodal transportation (23 ports), international marine container terminals (17 ports) and development of roads to strengthen links to airports and ports (111 work sites)
    • Development of the Universal Traffic Management System (UTMS), mainly in traffic control centers at 170 locations nationwide, to optimize traffic management.
    • Construction of loop roads to eliminate or alleviate traffic congestion (approximately 135 sites), projects for continuous grade separation (63 sites), construction of car parks in cities (29 sites), elimination of major traffic congestion points based on the Congestion Mitigation Program (approximately 200 sites)
    • Commencement of general introduction of the Electronic Toll Collection System (ETC) at toll gates (63 locations) mainly in the Chiba area

  • In each ministry, a follow-up has been conducted in relevant Advisory Councils in relation to the voluntary action plans of each related industry.
  • In the FY2001 tax revision, special new measures were created for the automobile tax, which reduced tax rates on cars inflicting little environmental burden as a result of their excellent fuel efficiency and gas emissions performance, in function of their gas emissions performance, while increasing tax rates on vehicles for which a certain period of time had passed since their initial registration and are thus inflicting a heavy burden on the environment (the so-called "greening of the automobile tax"). Through this and other measures, the diffusion of low-emission cars and fuel-efficient vehicles was promoted.

    [Energy Supply Side Measures]

  • In order to gain the understanding of the people with regard to the development and use of nuclear power, public relations activities such as providing information and holding lectures and forums were carried out. In addition, enhancement of support for regional revitalization through industrial development, and increased flexibility and integration of the use of grants and subsidies applicable under the three laws on power-source siting to enable creative ingenuity and independent initiatives by local governments, have been advanced.

  • To accelerate the introduction of new energy, and in order to establish the independence of the solar power generation market, a subsidy system has been established for household solar power system. (Approximately 25,700 applications in FY2000)

    [Promotion of Other Measures to Reduce Emissions of Greenhouse Gases]

  • Work on system for the recovery and destruction of HFC and related substances has gone ahead through the initiative of industry and regions, but the "Law for Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances" (the Home Appliances Recycling Law) went into full effect in April 2001, while in June 2001 the "Law for Ensuring the Implementation of Recovery and Destruction of Chlorofluorocarbons Concerning Specified Products" (Chlorofluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law) was enacted, making the recovery of HFC refrigerants mandatory.

    [Promotion of Measures to Enhance CO2 Sinks such as Afforestation]

  • Improvement of forests through afforestation projects, forest conservation and forestry environment maintenance has been implemented in national and private forests with the aim of improving the carbon sink function.

    [Strengthening the Earth Observation System]

  • We have conducted atmospheric and oceanic observation including observation of greenhouse gases, climate observation, upper air observation and sea-level observation. In addition, from FY2000, the Millennium Project "Construction of High Resolution Monitoring System in the Ocean (the ARGO Project)" was started.

    [Promotion of International Cooperation]

  • Having failed to reach a consensus at the Hague COP6 negotiations in November 2000, we are continuing negotiations aiming for consensus at the resumed COP6 to be held in July this year. In March this year, the United States announced that it would not support the Kyoto Protocol, and in response, the majority of signatory nations, including Japan, expressed their concern. Japan is urging the United States to participate in negotiations aimed at putting the Kyoto Protocol into effect, and at the Japan-U.S. Summit in June, it was decided that Japan-U.S. high-level consultations would be initiated promptly.

    [Review Lifestyles]

  • A report was compiled in May 1999 calling for the "introduction of a daylight savings system should be pursued following a campaign aimed at raising the consciousness of the public." Based on this report, the Central Environmental Council and other bodies have examined this further.

  • The third "Global Warming Prevention Month" was held on December 2000, with an international symposium and public relations activities carried out across the country.

  • To promote movements to create and publicize environmental reports containing information related to the environmental burden and activities for environmental protection associated with business activities, Environmental Reporting Guidelines (FY2000) was published.

  • Based on the "Law Concerning the Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities (Green Purchasing Law)" the "Basic Policy for the Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services" has been prepared in order to propel the procurement of environment-friendly goods by the Diet, Government, Courts, Special Public Institutions and others in a comprehensive and planned way.

  • All general official vehicles are, in principle, to be converted within three years of FY2002 in line with the Basic Policy for the Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services, and we will also strive for the conversion of cars other than general official vehicles, in line with the same basic policy.

  • A "National Land Afforestation Campaign" with "Greenery Week" (April 23-29) as the focus and a radio campaign marking the fifth year of the enactment of the "Green Fund Raising Law" were carried out.

  • In the aim of reforming the social system, ten kinds of model projects have been developed nationwide as Model Projects for the Regional Promotion of Measures to Prevent Global Warming.