June 15, 2006

JAMA Announces Results of CO2 Reduction Trial Study
-Road Traffic Measures Are Demonstrably Effective-

Two top-priority issues for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA; Fujio Cho, Chairman) are greater road safety and improved automotive environmental performance—that is, reducing the impact of automobiles on the environment.  JAMA’s publication On the Road to Sustainable Mobility (latest edition: June 2006, in Japanese only) details its own and its member companies’ activities in regard to those issues.

In the mission to curb global warming, Japan has set sectoral CO2 reduction targets so that it can meet its aggregate reduction target specified under the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.  To reduce CO2 in the transport sector, automakers have worked hard to meet the central government’s fuel economy targets.  Most have in fact met the targets ahead of schedule, and various models complying with those targets have already been introduced to the market.

A parallel initiative in the push to attain transport-sector CO2 reduction goals consists of the strategic implementation of road traffic measures aimed at alleviating road congestion.  In this effort, crucial activities include the analysis and evaluation of broad-ranging road-related data, along with the formulation/implementation of optimal responses based on the Deming-PDCA model.

From this perspective, JAMA recently commissioned the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) and Mitsui Knowledge Industry Co. to conduct a quantitative-evaluation trial study, in which road traffic information and other data were used to track the impact of traffic-flow improvement measures on CO2 reduction. The object of the study was the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway inner ring road’s Oji section, which opened for service in December 2002.

Based on the data obtained during this trial study, it was estimated that operation of the inner ring road’s Oji section has reduced annual CO2 emissions in the 23 wards of central Tokyo by between 22,000 and 31,000 tons.

In fuel-conversion terms, this reduction in exhaust emissions is equivalent to between 9,550 and 13,300 kiloliters of gasoline, and corresponds to the annual gasoline consumption of approximately 10,000 passenger cars.

The outcome of this trial study thus confirms that reducing road congestion is an effective means of reducing CO2, and that existing road traffic data can be used to perform reliable quantitative evaluations of the impact of traffic-flow improvement measures on CO2 reduction.

JAMA is encouraged by the results of this study, and strongly favors action by the Japanese government to establish a viable data analysis and response formulation scheme for improving traffic flow on Japan’s roads.

PDF Results of JAMA-Commissioned CO2 Reduction Trial Study (PDF)