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2012 Vol.3
Local Energy Governance and Efforts against Global Warming at Local Level

2012/07/01

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, the circumstances surrounding the Japanese energy supply and demand structure have been completely transformed. Moreover, discussions on energy security and the outlook on long-term energy supply and demand have been resumed, and new discussions have begun on the future targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy issues and global warming issues are inextricably linked, and energy supply and demand should be considered with the issues of greenhouse gas emissions in mind. To avoid rapid climate change, these emissions need to be drastically reduced in the long run, and this will require major changes to the energy supply and demand structure we have at present. The concept of local energy governance means that local governments will need to manage energy supply and demand in their area by supplying their own energy, and reducing energy consumption can be useful to achieving this goal. A drastic reduction in greenhouse energy emissions implies local energy governance, and it seems achievable with the large-scale introduction of sustainable energy, energy conservation, and electrification. Since the conditions and hurdles for energy autonomy are extremely difficult to overcome, individual local governments need to make full use of the characteristics of their locality and try to achieve local energy governance through low-cost methods. Moreover, the national government should support the local governments through the passage of new laws as well as through deregulation.

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