Comparative assessment of Japan's long-term carbon budget under different effort-sharing principles

Takeshi Kuramochi, Jusen Asuka, Hanna Fekete, Kentaro Tamura, Niklas Höhne

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13 Citations (Scopus)


This article assesses Japan's carbon budgets up to 2100 in the global efforts to achieve the 2 °C target under different effort-sharing approaches based on long-term GHG mitigation scenarios published in 13 studies. The article also presents exemplary emission trajectories for Japan to stay within the calculated budget. The literature data allow for an in-depth analysis of four effort-sharing categories. For a 450 ppm CO2e stabilization level, the remaining carbon budgets for 2014–2100 were negative for the effort-sharing category that emphasizes historical responsibility and capability. For the other three, including the reference ‘Cost-effectiveness’ category, which showed the highest budget range among all categories, the calculated remaining budgets (20th and 80th percentile ranges) would run out in 21–29 years if the current emission levels were to continue. A 550 ppm CO2e stabilization level increases the budgets by 6–17 years-equivalent of the current emissions, depending on the effort-sharing category. Exemplary emissions trajectories staying within the calculated budgets were also analysed for ‘Equality’, ‘Staged’ and ‘Cost-effectiveness’ categories. For a 450 ppm CO2e stabilization level, Japan's GHG emissions would need to phase out sometime between 2045 and 2080, and the emission reductions in 2030 would be at least 16–29% below 1990 levels even for the most lenient ‘Cost-effectiveness’ category, and 29–36% for the ‘Equality’ category. The start year for accelerated emissions reductions and the emissions convergence level in the long term have major impact on the emissions reduction rates that need to be achieved, particularly in the case of smaller budgets. Policy relevance In previous climate mitigation target formulation processes for 2020 and 2030 in Japan, neither equity principles nor long-term management of cumulative GHG emissions was at the centre of discussion. This article quantitatively assesses how much more GHGs Japan can emit by 2100 to achieve the 2 °C target in light of different effort-sharing approaches, and how Japan's GHG emissions can be managed up to 2100. The long-term implications of recent energy policy developments following the Fukushima nuclear disaster for the calculated carbon budgets are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1047
Number of pages19
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 16


  • Japan
  • carbon budget
  • effort sharing
  • equity
  • mitigation policy
  • mitigation scenarios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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