Japanese draft INDC proposal was presented

Today (April 30th), a draft proposal for Japanese INDC was presented in the joint advisory committee under the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)..   Apart from the leaks which you might have seen in media, this was the first time for the draft proposal to be presented officially.
I summarized the content below for your information.
The Mitigation Target
  • 26% reduction below 2013 by 2030 (1042 MtCO2eq).  **Here all years are Japanese fiscal year (April to March).
  • For the base year, 2013 will be used mainly but 2005 will also be included.  For 2005 base year, the target becomes 25.4% below 2005 by 2030.
  • The “GHGs” cover 6 Kyoto greenhouse gases and NF3.
  • The target does include LULUCF (forest management, agricultural soil sinks etc).  It contribute to 2.6% reduction or 37 Mt-CO2eq reduction.
  • It is vague on whether it includes its bilateral offsetting scheme (“Joint Crediting Mechanism”) or not.  The proposal says JCM is not included as part of the basis for calculating the 26% reduction target but the government will “appropriately account” emission reduction acquired by Japan through the mechanism.  The proposal also states that accumulatively 50-100 Mt-CO2eq is expected from JCM but it was clarified during the committee meeting that the number is just an estimate, not a commitment.
The “Energy Mix” behind the target
  • Electricity in 2030
    • RE: 22-24%
    • Nuclear: 20-22%
    • Coal: 26%
    • LNG: 27%
    • Oil: 3%
    • Of RE:
      • PV: 7%
      • Wind: 1.7%
      • Geothermal: 1.0-1.1%
      • Hydro: 8.8-9.2%
      • Biomass: 3.7-4.6%
  • Primary Energy Supply including electricity, heat and fuels
    • RE: 13-14%
    • Nuclear: 10-11%
    • Natural gas: 18%
    • Coal: 25%
    • Oil: 32%
  • Energy consumption / Energy Efficiency
    • Electricity demand: 966.6TWh (2013) ==> 980.8TWh (2030)
      • This reduction of electricity is 17% reduction from baseline
    • Finally Energy Consumption: 361 million Crude Oil Equivalent (2013) ==> 326 million COE (2030)
      • It is explained that this mean 35% improvement of efficiency between 2012 and 2030.
    • Primary Energy Supply will be 489 million COE.
Issues and problems
  • Low ambition in general:  The above target is equal to18% reduction below 1990 by 2030, which is not enough.  CAN-Japan has been calling for 40-50% below 1990 by 2030.
  • The base year disguise: the reason why 2013 was chosen as a base year is to make the target look better compared to EU and US.  It looks better than when it is compared with 2005 as a base year.
  • Not consistent with its long-term target: Japan has a long-term target adopted by the Cabinet in 2012.  It aims at 80% reduction by 2050 (without specifying a base year). Assuming 2005 as a base year, the liner reduction from the current 2020 target (3.8% below 2005) to 2050 indicates that the target should be 29% reduction at the point of 2030.
  • Low ambition in RE: renewable targets are extremely low, especially for wind and PV.
  • Uncontrolled coal: 26% in electricity generation in 2030 basically means Japan will keep the share of coal as it is now.
  • Unrealistic nuclear: 20-22% nuclear actually means either extending operation period of nuclear power plants from the current 40 years to 60 years or building new ones.  If you assume only 40-year lifetime for nuclear power plants, many of the existing nuclear power plants will be phased out automatically and it should be less than 15% by 2030.
  • No explanation for fairness and ambition (yet):  the governmental officials said they would prepare explanation for “fair and ambitious” but it does not include any explanation so far.
  • Too much focus on electricity: the discussion was centered around electricity mix too much and there was not much of discussion on heat/fuels.
  • Other areas (adaptation and finance) are not addressed at all.
Process Ahead
  • Today’s proposal is not the final proposal but is the first draft.  There will be some more discussion until the proposal is officially adopted by the Cabinet.  However, MoE and METI seemed in agreement to push this INDC through and it is not likely to get changed hugely.