Local governments around the world are increasingly issuing declarations to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Focusing on major municipalities and prefectures in Japan, we used a questionnaire to analyze differing degrees of commitment to climate mitigation and renewables and influencing factors. Out of 157 major local governments in Japan, we received 93 usable responses from governors and mayors and 146 from departments heading climate or energy policy. Results are categorized into “with declaration,” “under consideration” and “not considering” based on whether a declaration for zero emissions by 2050 is in place. Differences were found regarding the degree of interest in domestic and international trends around energy policy, proactiveness for climate change mitigation, and emphasis on decreasing local emissions. The analysis showed that “with declaration” and “under consideration” governments are more likely to adopt an attitude of ecological modernization rather than pursuing a “Business as Usual” trajectory. While also observed in the "under consideration" group, overall, this group expressed less support for Japan to increase its national mid-term emissions reduction target. Also, while those “under consideration” reported challenges in installing renewable energy, the “with declaration” group demonstrated higher interest in promoting new local and municipal electric utilities for renewables.

Tomoyuki Tatsumi, Takashi Nakazawa, Keiichi Satoh, Atsushi Nozawa, Kazuhiro Ikeda, Susumu Kitagawa, Masako Konishi, Gregory Trencher, Keiko Hirao, Koichi Hasegawa
Local Government Declarations for Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 in Japan: A Questionnaire Survey on Climate Change Policies [地方自治体の2050年二酸化炭素排出実質ゼロ宣言: 気候変動政策に関する自治体調査から] [In Japanese]
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Date / Year
Mar 2021
Studies in informatics, Shizuoka University