2021: Decarbonization and Critical Raw Materials

Klimawandel und Ökologie
Quelle: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 19 | Issue 3 | Number 2 | Article ID 5532 | Feb 01, 2021
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus

Decarbonization and Critical Raw Materials: Some Issues for Japan

Andrew DeWit

This paper assesses the role and the challenges of the use of critical raw materials in Japan’s program for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

 On October 27, 2020 Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide announced that his administration would set national policy on course to aim at net-zero in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Japan is now one of dozens of countries committed to achieving netzero by 2050. Japan’s decarbonization pledge is backed up by ambitions for a vast rollout of offshore wind, millions of tons of “green hydrogen,” and assertions that domestic automakers can achieve net-zero emissions from the entire life cycle1 of a vehicle.2 Japan’s commitment was strongly welcomed in an international climate-policy community shocked by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and seeking roadmaps for building back better on all fronts.3 Japan may yet possess the innovative capacity to realize these goals. But one pressing question is whether resource-scarce Japan has access to sufficient critical raw materials to make this happen. Equally important is asking whether Japan has a strategy to secure critical raw materials that also conform to rapidly strengthening sustainability rules. ....

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