Policies on Environment and Energy in Japan and Efforts of MEXT

Sadayuki Tsuchiya
Director-General for Policy Coordination,
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)

Currently climate change issue is one of the most important issues to be tackled by global community and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, so called IPCC's 4th Assessment Report in 2007 made us to recognize its importance and to share urgency to combat. It was supported by the G8 leaders at the L'Aquila Summit last year that the developed countries would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in aggregate by 80% or more by 2050. Also the prime minister Hatoyama pledged at the UN summit on climate change last September that Japan will aim to reduce its emissions by 25% by 2020, if compared to the 1990 level, consistent with what the science calls for in order to halt global warming, where it is imperative to establish a fair and effective international framework in which all major economies participate. In addition, at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Copenhagen, Denmark last year, we agreed to take note of "Copenhagen Accord" though we could not reach a consensus on the post Kyoto protocol.

In terms of the environmental energy strategy of Japan, Hatoyama Government laid out "Green Innovation" concept and the Council for Science and Technology Policy, namely CSTP, formulated the resource allocation strategy and the new development strategy (basic policy) was approved by the Cabinet last year. Based on the strategies, related ministries and agencies are now underway to plan and promote related programs. Taking such strategy in advance, our ministry launched "R&D Strategy for Achieving a Low-carbon Society" last August to comprehensively carry out research and development to realize low carbon society and now MEXT is conducting broader range of R & D activities.

It is necessary for us to develop innovative environmental energy technologies to realize low carbon society, also innovative changes of the social system are essential. Therefore our ministry, which supervises universities and R&D independent administrative agencies, plays an important role for low carbon society development. Especially, in order to present the right direction of innovative changes of the societal system as a vision of future low carbon society strategy to the public, MEXT established the Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy in Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and started research of societal scenario where environment and economy coexist. MEXT will fully utilize potential of universities and related agencies and also strengthen linkage among ministries, agencies, and industrial community toward the realization of low carbon society.


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