Japan’s NDC sets an emission reduction target of 46% below 2013 by 2030, excluding emissions from LULUCF in the base year, but including them in the target year. When expressed as excluding LULUCF in both years, this is equivalent to a 42% reduction. In absolute terms, this corresponds to emissions of around 814 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030, excluding LULUCF.
While the announced target is a step forward, neither Japan’s announced NDC update nor current NDC are in line with a 1.5°C domestic emissions pathway, which would require a rapid decline in domestic GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF), reaching about 60-72% below 2013 levels by 2030, equivalent to around 391-556 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030.,
A fair share contribution to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions compatible with the Paris Agreement would require Japan to go further than its domestic emissions reduction target, and provide substantial financial or support for emission reductions to developing countries. Japan’s fair share as assessed by the Climate Action Tracker (domestic and international support) would require the country to finance or provide support for mitigation abroad equivalent to domestic emissions reductions on top of its domestic reductions.
Long term pathway
In its long-term strategy under the Paris Agreement, released in October 2021, Japan committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050. The document links the 46% reduction target of the country’s NDC with the long-term goal and states that the country will make additional efforts to reach a 50% emissions reduction below 2013 levels by 2030. Both the 2030 and 2050 targets include contributions from LULUCF sinks.
A 1.5°C compatible pathway would require that Japan accelerate GHG emissions reductions which began in 2013 to reduce domestic emissions (i.e., excluding LULUCF) by 60-72% below 2013 levels by 2030. Reductions of 94-104% below 2013 levels would be needed by 2050.
The energy sector will be a key focus in achieving net zero, and particularly the development of offshore wind, green hydrogen fuel, and the decarbonisation of transport and buildings. Strategies for these key areas have been outlined in Japan’s recent Green Growth Strategy.