Japan Business Federation (Keidanren)

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東京, 日本

Climate Lobbying Overview: The Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren) has lobbied negatively on most strands of climate change regulation in Japan. This is significant as many Japanese corporations defer their political engagement to trade associations, of which Keidanren is probably the most powerful and influential.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Keidanren has continuously advocated for its voluntary sector action plan with a focus on technological innovation in emission reduction, while appearing to oppose government regulation against climate change. In June 2020, Keidanren also launched its Challenge Zero initiative, emphasizing the role of voluntary, business-led technology innovation in decarbonization. In 2019, Keidanren supported the need for global reduction of greenhouse gases including Japan’s mid-term goal of 26% emission reduction by 2030 compared to 2013. However, it opposed committing to 80% emission reductions target by 2050 through the consultation on Japan’s long-term economic growth strategy under the Paris Agreement. This was re-stated in May 2019 in a further public consultation, warning against the use of a new explicit GHG emission target, pushing instead for a “vision”. Media reports in 2019 suggest the organization was influential in advocating this position to the government, influencing the outcome of the final strategy.
In 2020, Keidanren appears to generally support the Paris agreement goals, including decarbonization, although it does not give a specific timeline, only stating “at the earliest possible date” and through deploying “innovative technologies”. It also stated support for Japan’s NDC targets, however suggesting this should be achieved by voluntary initiatives with government backing and technology innovation. More recently in October 2020, Keidanren’s chairman supported Japan to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050 within a presentation to the cabinet office. However, he suggested this should be led by innovative technology solutions. Despite the "zero" in Keidanren’s Challenge Zero initiative, launched in June 2020 with the aim of encouraging emission reduction innovation, it does not state numerical nor mandatory targets (dates or emissions intensity) for the companies participating.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Since opposing the inclusion of an emissions trading scheme in the Ministry of the Environment’s (MoEJ) Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures under the Paris Agreement (2016), Keidanren has consistently opposed explicit carbon pricing policy and carbon taxes, including at government subcommittee meetings. In 2018, Keidanren also directly advocated against an explicit carbon tax in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)’s proposed 5th Basic Energy Plan.

Positioning on Energy Transition: In 2018, Keidanren’s Chairman stated that climate change mitigation policy relates directly to energy policy, which requires balanced consideration, including economic competitiveness of Japan, and that any measures to increase the cost of energy will disrupt this balance thus should not be implemented. Keidanren has remained in favor of a prolonged role for coal in the energy mix, both domestically and across Asia. In 2019, in consultation with policymakers over Japan’s long-term growth strategy under the Paris Agreement, Keidanren explicitly opposed the inclusion of the statement in the strategy for the abolition or ban on the construction of new coal-fired power plants, watering down the statement to "reduced dependence" on coal. It also appears to have opposed the halting of international investment into coal power, but instead to "invest in line with Paris aligned GHG emission goals". Keidanren has traditionally emphasized the financial burden of measures to boost renewable energy. In 2016, the former Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara had called for an overhaul of Japan’s feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme to reduce energy costs. In 2019, Keidanren appears to shown some degree of support towards promoting renewable energy, but on the condition that this fulfils the requirements of ensuring energy is “low-cost” and “stable.” Keidanren again appears to support renewable energy legislation in its response to a government consultation in January 2020, with the exception that it does not result in an increase in electricity prices, in particular for large-scale industrial users, suggesting any further dissemination of renewable generation capacity and upgrades to the network system must be covered by minimal spending. In 2020, through a position statement on economic recovery post-Covid-19, it appears to support decarbonization of the energy system through measures including mainstreaming of renewable energy, although no specific timescale for the transition is given.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Communication of Climate Science
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
0 0 NA 0 0 0 NA NA
Supporting the Need for Regulations
0 -1 NA 0 -2 -1 NA NA
Support of UN Climate Process
0 0 NA 0 0 1 NA NA
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
-1 -1 NA -1 0 0 NA NA
Emissions Trading
-2 -2 NA -1 -1 NS NA NA
Energy and Resource Efficiency
0 0 NA 0 NS NS NA NA
Renewable Energy
0 -1 NA 0 0 0 NA NA
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
0 0 NA -1 -1 0 NA NA
GHG Emission Regulation
-1 -1 NA -1 -1 0 NA NA
Disclosure on Relationships