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  5. Energy and Environmental Policies after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Issues and Expectations

2012 Vol.1
Energy and Environmental Policies after the Great East Japan Earthquake: Issues and Expectations

2012/01/01

The amount of electricity supplied by nuclear power plants has drastically fallen in Japan over the past few years. At the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP-17) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was held late in 2011 an agreement was made to create a new framework for reducing CO2 emissions in which, among others, the United States and developing countries including China will participate. However, it also became clear that the creation of this framework will take time. Viewing the agreement as a rare opportunity that could turn out to be beneficial, some have been devising plans to retroactively examine Japan’s energy and environmental policies. In this context, this paper summarizes the issues facing Japan and proposes measures to be pursued by the country. More specifically, this paper argues that Japan lost its advantage over major competitor countries because it failed to make a transition toward a 21st-century policy on energy and the environment, and that Japan should regain its lost ground in this time of difficulty caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and should initiate a new development model.

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