Japan’s INDC was officially submitted to UNFCCC

Now the Japanese INDC is on UNFCCC’s website.

Not much has changed since it was proposed for public commenting.  Hence the assessment below still stands.

It should be noted that the “energy mix” numbers below are not in the INDC per se.  It was taken from the energy mix, which was also adopted by the government a day before the INDC submission.
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. They say they will take the same approach in Kyoto to account it, which means (in Japan’s case) gross-net approach.
  • It is vague on whether it includes its bilateral offsetting scheme (“Joint Crediting Mechanism”) or not.  The INDC 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 INDC also states that accumulative 50-100 Mt-CO2eq is expected from JCM but it was clarified during the governmental 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: 30% + LPG 3%
  • Energy consumption / Energy Efficiency
    • Electricity demand: 966.6TWh (2013) ==> 980.8TWh (2030)
      •  17% reduction from baseline scenario.
    • Finally Energy Consumption: 361 million kl Crude Oil Equivalent (2013) ==> 326 million kl COE (2030)
      • It is explained that this mean 35% improvement of efficiency between 2012 and 2030.
    • Primary Energy Supply will be 489 million kl COE.
Issues and problems
  • Low ambition in general:  The above target is equal to 18% 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. They are even lower than what respective industry groups are aiming at.
  • 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 eventually and it should be less than 15% by 2030.
  • Vague explanation for fairness and ambition:  the explanation around fairness and ambition is vague and it largely relies on high marginal abatement costs, transparency of sectoral breakdowns, efficiency of industry sectors.
  • 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.