We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) appears to be actively and broadly positively engaged on climate policy. It has supported Japan’s 2030 and 2050 GHG emissions reduction targets, energy efficiency standards, and renewable energy targets, while holding negative positions on carbon tax and emissions trading policies. It has strongly supported renewable energy in Japan’s energy mix, while appearing ambiguous on a full phaseout of thermal power.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Keizai Doyukai has appeared largely supportive of climate action s in its top-line messaging. It has continuously expressed strong support for the Japanese government’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, for instance in its policy proposal published in March 2022, and in a METI hearing in March 2021, it acknowledged that it proposed the 2050 carbon neutrality goal as early as January 2019. Keizai Doyukai appears to support the need for climate policy, for instance advocating for the government to formulate a "Green Reset Plan," with investments, regulations, and a “roadmap” toward realizing carbon neutrality by 2050 in a policy proposal in September 2021. Its public relations magazine released in the same month stated that climate change issues “should be addressed not only as an environmental and energy policy, but also as an industrial, economic, and social policy for Japan as a whole.” Regarding carbon pricing policies however, Keizai Doyukai has appeared to hold mixed positions, calling for the government “to “draft basic policy by the end of this year,” while emphasizing the need to protect Japan’s international competitiveness, in a policy proposal in March 2022.
Keizai Doyukai appeared to support initiatives complimentary to the UN Treaty in its policy proposal on COP26, published in October 2021, and supported increased ambitions of countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in a policy proposal in September 2021. When asked about the outcomes of COP26 in a press conference in November 2021, Keizai Doyukai Chairman Kengo Sakurada stated that while the COP agreement “can be appreciated to a certain extent,” the goal of limiting global temperature increase to within 1.5C “will not be reached even if all of the commitments indicated by each country are realized,” and emphasized the need to consider “the overall optimum” among differing pathways to achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Keizai Doyukai has supported Japan’s 2030 NDC GHG emissions reduction target, energy efficiency standards, and renewable energy targets, while holding negative positions on carbon tax and emissions trading policies. In its September 2021 policy proposal, Keizai Doyukai supported the need to promote energy conservation in buildings, transportation, and logistics, as well as the promotion of zero emissions buildings and housing and the “strengthening of the obligation to comply with energy conservation standards for residences.” Regarding GHG emissions targets, Keizai Doyukai supported the need for policies to achieve Japan’s 2030 and 2050 targets in its policy proposals in March 2022, October 2021, and September 2021. Keizai Doyukai Chairman Sakurada welcomed the announcement of Japan’s increased 2030 NDC target in a statement in April 2021, and appeared to support it in a press conference in January 2022. Keizai Doyukai has also consistently advocated for the increased ambition of renewable energy targets and legislation since 2016 and 2018, and supported increasing the renewable energy ratio to 40% by 2030 in its policy proposal on the Basic Energy Plan in March 2021. In its policy proposal on the 6th Basic Energy Plan submitted to METI in October 2021, it advocated for additional measures to support the introduction of solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy to achieve the 2030 renewable energy target.
Keizai Doyukai appears to support carbon tax and emissions trading policies with major exceptions. Its March 2022 policy proposal on carbon pricing advocated for a “carbon consumption tax” with conditions that consumers “bear the burden in proportion to the amount of their emissions” and that Japanese competitiveness is protected, including through “time-based tax exemptions for significantly impacted industries.” In its March 2022 proposal and May 2022 magazine issue, Keizai Doyukai appeared to support a carbon consumption tax over upstream taxation, emphasizing concerns that the latter “would run counter to maintaining and strengthening the international competitiveness of key industries.” Similarly, in a METI hearing in March 2021, it proposed that “the final beneficiary should pay the tax rather than the upstream process.” When asked about the EU carbon border adjustment measures (CBAM) in a press conference in July 2021, Chairman Sakurada appeared to emphasize concerns around the need to “avoid a situation in which Japan is greatly affected by the rules set by other countries.” Regarding emissions trading, Keizai Doyukai stated that “Japan should continue to deepen its consideration of this as an option for its policy mix,” while emphasizing concerns such as unpredictability and price fluctuations.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Keizai Doyukai has held largely positive positions on transitioning the energy mix, strongly supporting increasing renewable energy in the Japanese power composition, while appearing ambiguous on a full phaseout of thermal power. In press conferences in May 2022 and August 2022, Chairman Sakurada supported the role of nuclear energy to support a shift towards renewables. In its policy proposal on the Basic Energy Plan in March 2021, Keizai Doyukai called for a roadmap for a “withdrawal” from coal, while stating that “it is necessary to strike a balance” between renewables, nuclear power, “high-efficiency thermal power,” and hydrogen and ammonia. In its policy proposal on the 6th Basic Energy Plan submitted to METI in October 2021, it supported governmental intervention towards a renewables-based energy mix supported by nuclear energy, while stating that there was a need for a “contingency plan” that includes “strengthening the fuel storage function of thermal power generation.” In its September 2021 policy proposal, Keizai Doyukai supported the “maximum use” of renewable and nuclear energy and called for the development of a “vision and roadmap” for a “fossil fuel free” future. In the same proposal, it also supported measures to decarbonize key industries such as steel and materials, including “reduced hydrogen steelmaking” and the use of e-fuels in automobile-related industries.