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Based on Japan’s national action plan for achieving the Kyoto Protocol (KP) target, various measures have been taken on methane emissions, including reduction from waste and agricultural sector. Because of such actions, methane in Japan has been decreasing successfully in these decades to achieve about 40% reduction from 1990 level.
HFCs are also targeted by the action plan for KP with three pillars in HFC countermeasures: 1) promotion of development and use of alternative substances; 2) voluntary actions by industries to reduce use and emission of HFCs, and 3) recovery and destruction of HFCs contained in equipment such as refrigerators, air conditioners and cars when they are discarded. Collection and destruction of HFCs in those products are accommodated in the legislation which also covers CFCs and HCFCs in relevant acts.
Particulate matters, of which black carbon is major component, and precursors of tropospheric ozone such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and non-methane volatile organic carbons (NMVOCs) have been addressed in the context of air pollution control. Emissions of these substances from stationary sources as well as vehicles are controlled by the Air Pollution Control Law. Preferential tax scheme is applied in order to promote “green vehicles” which achieve high energy efficiency and low emission of pollutants.
Japan has contributed to reduction of methane and HFCs emissions in developing countries through several types of CDM projects and other technological supports including adequate waste management technology. With regard to HFCs, Japan has supported developing countries to transfer from HCFCs to lower global-warming-potential alternatives and technologies under the Montreal Protocol. Japan has also contributed to the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) since its launch in 2004. Japan has been operating the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases (WDCGG) to archive, maintain and deliver relevant global measurements.
Reduction of black carbon and tropospheric ozone in Asia is the key for our challenge to cope with SLCPs globally. Japan has been tackling this issue through providing technical assistance and conducting a large number of projects to improve energy efficiency and reduction of air pollutants in developing countries in Asia. Japan has taken a lead to develop a regional monitoring network of air pollutants in East Asia in which 13 countries participate. Japan also joins actively international research on black carbon and other pollutants in Asia such as the UNEP ABC (Atmospheric Brown Clouds) Project and a joint research with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).