After establishing its Global Environmental Charter in 1991, Nippon Keidanren went on to lead in the implementation of responsible initiatives aimed at finding solutions to the problems of climate change. In particular, even prior to adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, Keidanren formulated a Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment in 1997, and on that basis, sought to achieve reductions in domestic emissions of CO2 principally within the industrial and energy-conversion sectors. Undertakings in these areas by the business community have been enormously successful in fostering the development of a wide array of low carbon technologies driven by Japanese ingenuity.
Nonetheless, the level of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has continued to expand unabated at a rapid pace. Along with limits on the utilisation of natural resources and energy, climate change stands before us as an immediate challenge threatening the sustainable development of the world economy itself. The Japanese business community is determined to further refine and build on the world-leading technologies it has developed and amassed to date, and actively contribute to the mitigation and solution of these problems.
Climate change constitutes a long-range, global-scale problem. To address it, we hereby declare, as a shared vision, our resolve as members of the Japanese business community to harness our technological prowess and assume an instrumental role in the drive to halve global GHG emissions by the year 2050.
To this end, in the coming decade to 2020, domestically, we will fully implement the best available technologies (BAT), and on that basis, strive for maximum reductions in CO2 emissions from the business and household sectors. Furthermore, overseas, we will actively furnish assistance for motivated initiatives aimed at stemming climate change. And in the process, we will strategically develop innovative technologies that promise breakthroughs in the quest to halve CO2 emissions by 2050.
In keeping with these perspectives, Keidanren will move forward with efforts to formulate its "Commitment to a Low Carbon Society" as a re-envisioning of its current Voluntary Action Plan.
We hereby declare that Japanese industry, acting in line with this Commitment, will move ahead with its drive to develop and implement commercially viable low carbon technologies that are among the most advanced in the world and assume global leadership in the effort to create a low carbon society that achieves economic growth in harmony with the environment.
(1) Participating industries and companies (collectively, "participating industries") pledge to provide society with world-leading low carbon technologies while maintaining and/or improving their own levels of energy efficiency.
(2) Participating industries will publicly announce and pursue a set of voluntary initiatives in line with section 2.2 below in the interest of fostering the development of a low carbon society of global scale.
(3) Keidanren will pursue the PDCA cycle in partnership with government to ensure that the initiatives by participating industries are steadily and reliably implemented.
(1) Establishment of reduction targets for domestic business operations up to the year 2020
(2) Strengthened cooperation with other interested groups
(3) Contributions on the international level
(4) Development of innovative technologies
Japan needs to build a development strategy for the technologies that will facilitate the achievement of the long-term goal of halving global GHG emissions by the year 2050. To this end, each industrial sector should collaborate with universities and other centres of research, clearly identify the technical challenges as well as the GHG reduction potential of those innovations that should be developed and transformed into commercially viable technologies, and prepare and pursue a medium- to long-range road map for the development and dissemination of new technologies.