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 Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) appears to have lobbied negatively on a number of climate change and energy policies in Japan. It has taken negative positions on GHG emissions reduction targets and carbon pricing policies including the carbon tax, emissions trading, and the feed-in tariff (FIT), and has advocated for a continued role for high-GHG energy sources in the energy mix alongside renewable and nuclear energy.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: FEPC appears to have mixed top-line messaging on climate policy. Its website, accessed in June 2022, recognized some climate change science, but was unclear if it recognized IPCC consensus, as it stated that the “environmental impact of global warming has not been fully elucidated scientifically.” FEPC appeared to support the goals of the Paris Agreement in a pamphlet published on its website in 2021, and the chairman, Kazuhiro Ikebe, appeared to support the achievement of goals at COP26 at a press conference in November 2021. Chairman Ikebe supported Japan’s 2050 carbon neutral goal in a press conference in February 2021, but an article published on FEPC’s website in the same month appeared to emphasize difficulties in achieving this goal in Japan. At a press conference in May 2021, Chairman Ikebe supported the promotion of carbon-neutrality “as a government-wide measure” across the government ministries. However, FEPC has often appeared to support voluntary measures over regulatory measures to respond to climate change, for instance in Ministry of the Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) hearings in April, May, and July 2021.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: FEPC has engaged negatively with GHG emissions reduction targets and carbon pricing policies including the carbon tax, emissions trading system (ETS), and feed-in tariff (FIT), and holds mixed positions on energy efficiency legislation. In a METI hearing in April 2021, FEPC emphasized economic and feasibility concerns in achieving Japan’s 2030 GHG emissions reduction target. At a press conference in May 2021, Chairman Ikebe appeared to support the 2030 target while stating, “I foresee many difficulties in achieving it.”
In a METI hearing in April 2021, FEPC appeared to not support carbon pricing measures such as the carbon tax and ETS, and requested “careful discussion” on their introduction. In a METI hearing in March 2021, FEPC emphasized “the unbalanced burden on electricity” due to the FIT levy, and Chairman Ikebe supported the temporary suspension of the FIT system in an interview with Nikkei Business in August 2022. FEPC appeared to support the FIT and feed-in premium (FIP) systems with minor exceptions in an article published in January 2022, however in a statement the following month, Chairman Ikebe emphasized high costs due to the FIT system. FEPC appeared ambiguous on the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) in a METI hearing in March 2021, emphasizing the need to consider issues such as its consistency with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
In regards to energy efficiency, FEPC appeared to support energy efficiency subsidies in a METI hearing in April 2021, and Chairman Ikebe appeared to support measures to improve energy efficiency in buildings at a press conference in July 2022. FEPC appears to hold mixed positions on the Energy Conservation Act, requesting that it “fairly evaluate both the energy conservation efforts and non-fossil energy utilization efforts” in a METI hearing in February 2021, and making similar requests in a METI hearing in March 2021.
Positioning on Energy Transition: FEPC has advocated in favor of retaining high-GHG energy sources in Japan’s energy mix alongside renewable and nuclear energy. It advocated for a continued role for thermal power, including coal, in METI hearings in March and April 2021. FEPC appeared to support an increase in renewable and nuclear energy to achieve 2050 carbon neutrality in a METI hearing in May 2022, however it advocated for a continued role for thermal power as an adjustment power alongside the “maximum” use of renewable and nuclear energy in a METI hearing in April 2021, and appeared to reiterate this in a METI hearing in November 2021. In a METI hearing in December 2021, the vice chairman of FEPC supported the decarbonization of thermal power through hydrogen and ammonia co-firing with CCS, however in METI hearings in February 2022, FEPC supported hydrogen and ammonia without clarifying a position on their decarbonization.
In a METI hearing in March 2021, FEPC emphasized cost difficulties in achieving Japan’s 2030 renewable energy target, but in an interview with Mainichi in October 2021, Chairman Ikebe stated that the target “cannot be achieved without drastic use of taxpayer funds, such as subsidies and tax incentives.” In a METI hearing in April 2021, FEPC also requested measures to support the development of renewable energy as Japan’s main source of power, including measures to reduce costs and promote local understanding.
Recently, FEPC has advocated for a long-term role for nuclear energy, without clarifying its role in regards to a full transition towards a zero-emission energy system, in METI hearings in March, May, and August 2022. A statement co-signed by FEPC and submitted to METI in October 2022 appeared to support a continued role for gas with CCS in the energy mix, however with some ambiguities around conditions for ensuring decarbonization.
InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q4 2022.