Opinion Concerning the Improvement of the Legal System of Japan to Implement the Paris Agreement
February 16, 2017
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) prepared its “Opinion Concerning the Improvement of the Legal System of Japan to Implement the Paris Agreement” (the “Opinion”) on February 16, 2017, and submitted it to the Minister of the Environment, the Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Chief Cabinet Secretary on February 22, 2017.
Summary of the Opinion
In order to implement the Paris Agreement (PA), the JFBA calls on the national government to enact the “Fundamental Law on Climate Change Countermeasures” (provisional name) replacing the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures, and to take actions accordingly.
The JFBA proposes that the new law should contain the following provisions:
- The purpose of the law should be to make efforts to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and “limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” as specified in Article 2-1(a) (PA), and Japan aims as a long-term goal “to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century” in accordance with Article 4-1 (PA).
- Concerning the short-term goals and their revisions in the pursuit of the long-term goal,
(1) the long-term goal of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared to 1990 levels*1 by 2050 should be pursued, starting with a goal of achieving 50 percent reduction or equivalent by 2030, and a reduction of more than 60 percent by 2040 compared to the 1990 levels, and
(2) the “long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies” (long-term vision) should be formulated according to Article 4-19 (PA) in a manner consistent with the 2050 target. Further, in light of the “global stocktake” to “assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals” (Article14-1, PA), the targets should be increased every five years according to Article 4-3 and 4-9 (PA) in the same manner.
- National adaption plans should be drafted, and reviewed if necessary, according to Article 7-9 (PA).
- The goals and key measures should be established/reviewed on scientific grounds (Article 13 and Article 14-1)(PA) reflecting the opinions of the public.
- In order to achieve the nationally determined contributions according to Article 4-2 (PA), the following measures should be taken:
(1) Carbon pricing measures such as the carbon tax, the cap-and-trade system, etc.,
(2) Setting of the targets for introducing renewable forms of energy to coincide with the times when the emissions reduction targets are set, and
(3) Measures to promote the introduction of renewable forms of energy by utilizing the feed-in tariff system, giving priority to power lines from renewable power sources in the transmission system, etc.
*1: This is the amount of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases from which the amount of anthropogenic removal by sinks such as forests is deducted (the same applies to the targets that follow).