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Nippon Keidanren's Commitment to a Low Carbon Society

December 15, 2009

Nippon Keidanren

Outline of "Nippon Keidanren's Commitment to a Low Carbon Society" <PDF>

1. Basic Concept

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.

2. Overview of the Commitment

2.1 Core Policies

  1. (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. (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. (3) Keidanren will pursue the PDCA cycle in partnership with government to ensure that the initiatives by participating industries are steadily and reliably implemented.

2.2 Structure

  1. (1) Establishment of reduction targets for domestic business operations up to the year 2020

    1. Set numerical CO2 reduction targets for the year 2020 based on international comparisons of energy efficiency for each industrial sector in areas ranging from production and service provision to business operations and logistics, and on the assumption that BAT will be implemented whenever new facilities are built or existing facilities are updated. Targets will be expressed in CO2 emissions intensity or as CO2 emissions.
    2. In setting numerical targets, utilise international comparisons of energy efficiency and disclose BAT details and implementation plans to demonstrate to the international community that the targets represent the deepest reduction levels attainable.
    3. Additionally, explore ways of guaranteeing that targets will be achieved.
  2. (2) Strengthened cooperation with other interested groups

    1. In the interest of paving the way to the creation of a low carbon society, participating industries will strengthen their cooperative ties with consumers, customers, employees, local communities, and other interested groups.
      Specifically, take steps to reduce CO2 emissions through product life cycles, including the development and commercialisation of products and services that harness world-leading energy-saving technologies.
    2. To complement these efforts, pursue independent initiatives in employee education, information disclosure to consumers (e.g., highlighting levels of CO2 emitted when products are used), forestation, and assistance to NPOs, and contribute to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions across a broad spectrum of sectors, from business to transport to households.
  3. (3) Contributions on the international level

    1. Actively participate in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) and other international frameworks for development assistance and actively transfer advanced Japanese technology and expertise to motivated developing countries in compliance with international rules.
    2. Demonstrate stronger leadership and pursue collaborative ventures aimed at reinforcing private-led cooperative international undertakings in electric power, steel, chemicals, cement, and other industrial sectors committed to the creation of a low carbon society on a global scale.
  4. (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.

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