June 10, 2009

JAMA Comments on New Mid-Term Goal for Reducing Japan’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Satoshi Aoki, Chairman

The Japanese government announced earlier this month its medium-term goal for the reduction of Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). While posing very tough challenges, the target reflects the assessment of the administration of Prime Minister Taro Aso of the critical need to curb global warming. Accordingly, JAMA and its member companies will make all possible efforts to help assure the achievement of that goal.

Faced with the challenge of CO2 reduction, Japan’s auto manufacturers succeeded in improving the average fuel efficiency of their new passenger car fleets by 25% between 1995 and 2005. Determined to continue reducing CO2 emissions in road transport, they will work hard to raise fuel efficiency levels even further and to advance the technologies needed for the practical introduction of next-generation vehicles. At the same time, JAMA calls on government to adopt the full range of measures required to effectively promote these vehicles’ widespread use, as one important means by which to help meet the national emissions reduction target.

Further CO2 reduction in the road transport sector will, however, necessitate an integrated approach—in other words, a combination of individual measures taken by the stakeholders concerned sectorwide. These measures include congestion mitigation through road infrastructure development; ecodriving and logistical improvements; and the development of the necessary supply infrastructure for the delivery of alternative fuels/power. In all these areas, JAMA calls on government for aggressive responses to help get the job done.

With respect to the formulation of an international post-Kyoto Protocol framework for GHG emissions reduction, it is essential that all major emitter countries take part in the negotiations involved. Equally essential from the standpoint of Japan—already a world leader in terms of energy efficiency—is the inclusion, in any final, formal agreement, of terms and conditions to ensure fair international competition. JAMA encourages the Japanese government to demonstrate firm initiative in this regard as well.

Keenly aware that the progress sought in addressing climate change will come at a certain cost to the public, JAMA requests, finally, that the government take all the action needed to gain the understanding and full support of the Japanese people in the fight against global warming.