17 March 2016

Tokyo Cap-and-Trade programme results in impressive fall in emissions

A report published by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has revealed that after five years the Japanese capital's Cap-and-Trade Programme has achieved a 25 percent reduction in emissions. The report focuses on covered facilities in 2014, comparing the emissions generated with those recorded in 2011. Covered facilities involved in the scheme were required to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions by a set percentage, with this percentage increasing in the second year.

The success in Tokyo stems in part from changes made following the Great East Japan Earthquake, which caused an energy crisis in the area. Many businesses enacted stringent measures to reduce energy consumption in the wake of the disaster. The report found that a large number of businesses continued these measures even after the situation was brought under control. Those that have since relaxed steps taken at the time, for example increasing air conditioner temperatures during summer in the immediate aftermath, still benefit from permanent steps taken, such as the installation of LED lighting.

Some factory owners said that the greater level of energy awareness prompted by the earthquake has led to employees reducing their energy consumption on a longer term basis. Mr. Masahiro Kimura, Director of the Emission Cap and Trade section at the TMG Bureau of Environment, said: "The great result of the introduction of the Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Programme is that the managers of covered facilities have started to take more interest in CO2 reduction results and energy saving has become the consensus in those facilities. The second compliance period started last April and the facilities have been continuously working on the CO2 reduction plans."

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