Joe Biden’s Victory is a Chance to Accelerate Japan’s Energy Transformation to Achieve a Decarbonized SocietyDemocratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden has just won the US presidential election. The Trump administration, which defied international efforts to avert a serious climate crisis and announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, will now step down, and by January next year, a Biden administration that clearly designates climate policy as one of its top priority issues will take over.
There will be a dramatic change in US climate policy. President-elect Biden has pledged to eliminate CO2 emissions from the electric sector by 2035 and achieve a clean energy economy and net-zero emission of greenhouse gases not later than 2050. He has also proposed a decarbonization strategy for the entire US economy by electrifying 100% of new light- and medium-duty vehicles, promoting energy efficiency, and reducing 50% of CO2 emissions from buildings by 2035.
Even under the Trump administration, many state governments, companies, NGOs, and other groups participating in America’s Pledge and We Are Still In have actively advocated and implemented climate measures. It can be said that Biden’s pledge reflects their pioneering actions.
The US’s climate policies will now move closer to those of Europe, which has driven the global initiative, and the international movement toward energy transformation to zero emission will advance more rapidly and forcefully. President-elect Biden has stated that he will declare America’s return to the Paris Agreement on the day of his inauguration. He also said that he will convene a “climate world summit” within the first 100 days of his administration to “directly engage the leaders of the major carbon-emitting nations of the world to persuade them to join the United States in making more ambitious national pledges, above and beyond the commitments they have already made.”
In addition, it is noteworthy that he intends to impose “carbon adjustment fees or quotas on carbon-intensive goods from countries that are failing to meet their climate and environmental obligations.” It is believed that this has the same goal as the carbon border tax the European Union plans to introduce.
Japan, which has declared its goal to become a decarbonized society by 2050, also needs to accelerate the transformation of its energy policy. Many companies and local government groups in Japan have recommended raising the target ratio of renewable energies in electric power to 40–50% by 2030. Research by Renewable Energy Institute has demonstrated that this target level is attainable.
Renewable Energy Institute plans to chart a clear course for putting the energy transformation onto the right track by 2030 and for achieving decarbonization by 2050 through renewable energies and energy efficiency. It will also strengthen cooperation with businesses, local governments, and non-state actors participating in the Japan Climate Initiative, RE-Users, the local Renewable Energy Associations , and other initiatives in order to contribute to mitigate the climate crisis.