The Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy aims to construct a low carbon society that is vigorous and sustainable, presenting widely social models compatible with prosperous life, and achieving such a society as reality.
Japan has a mid-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 relative to 1990 and is making specific efforts to achieve the goal. This is a great chance for Japan to advance science, technology, economy and society and enhance its international influence.
In spite of its poor natural resources and narrow land, Japan is highly industrialized and many of the Japanese are maintaining a high standard of living. Moreover, Japanese manufacturing industry boasts very high energy efficiency with environmental consciousness. This was achieved by identifying and solving challenges such as reducing energy consumption and improving environmental pollution. This implies that Japan has sufficient ability to solve challenges that it faces now.
After entering the 21st century, a paradigm shift has occurred in terms of "finite earth," "aging society" and "exploding knowledge." Creation of new industries along with this shift has great potential to renovate society and revitalize the stagnated economy. Japan is a "challenge-advanced" country, facing challenges in advance of other countries in the world. It is also situated in Asia, which is growing fastest in the world and geopolitically advantageous. If Japan continues to solve unprecedented problems of human beings, it will be able to create a model for the world.
Energy consumption in Japan is classified into three categories: energy conversion, manufacturing and daily life. While Japanese policies have conventionally tried to reduce energy consumption in the field of manufacturing, daily life in fact has the greatest potential to reduce energy consumption. By promoting development of ecological, barrier-free communities, we can cope with the aging society and create new jobs while reducing energy consumption in daily life.
Advanced science and technology are indispensable for solving social problems from the viewpoint of daily life and for setting a concrete vision of a low carbon society. To investigate how we can overcome various problems in achieving a low-carbon society by using the knowledge of science and technology, it is necessary to examine structural relationships. At the same time, it is important to develop scenarios that show paths to building up a low carbon society by structuralizing and utilizing fragmented knowledge and action according to the advancement of science and technology.
The Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy aims to vision a bright and prosperous low carbon society and develop comprehensive strategies and scenarios for achieving this goal. It will contribute to materializing a low carbon society by focusing on its relationship with science and technology and developing scenarios that can reflect the advancement of science and technology in real time.
Hiroshi Komiyama, Director-General
Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy