Japan might consider introducing an emissions trading scheme after last week’s confirmation that China will go ahead with its carbon market in 2017, Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki told a press conference, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
“Emission trading is a cost-effective measure that will certainly lead to emission reductions,” Mochizuki said.
“We would like to consider the measure while looking at the impact on industries and employment.”
Policy-makers in Tokyo will have been aware of China’s plans since they were first announced in 2011, but the international attention drawn to last week’s statement may provide an opportunity for ETS proponents to put the issue back on the agenda.
In Japan, the Ministry of Environment began designing a nationwide emissions trading scheme in 2009, but faced strong opposition from the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Keidanren, Japan’s biggest business lobby.
METI and industry groups eventually managed to shoot down the initiave in December 2010, several months before the Fukushima disaster pushed climate change down Japan’s agenda.
Officials and government-appointed experts working on Japan’s INDC earlier this year received a number of submissions from academics, NGOs and others proposing to set up a carbon market to help cut emissions, but this failed to make it into the final INDC.